An unknown perpetrator tore an air vent cover off the wall, marked it with an anti-black racial slur, and placed it outside the front of a black resident’s door in Carman Hall earlier this month.
The details surrounding the incident were outlined in an email sent to Carman residents from Carman Residence Hall Director Janae Buege-McClain on Tuesday morning. According to the email, the incident was “addressed with the residents impacted in the moment,” though the email did not provide more information regarding the specific steps taken. Additionally, the email did not clarify why residents were being notified of the incident, which took place on Dec. 2, several weeks after it occurred.
It added that Residential Life and Multicultural Affairs will “continue to work with RAs to create meaningful opportunities for education and dialogue” in the coming semester.
This incident marks the second hate crime targeting black students on Columbia’s campus this month alone. Last week, a student identified as Julian von Abele, CC ’21, berated a group of mostly black students with racist and white supremacist rhetoric, grabbing one student’s arm and later following the group to JJ’s Place. Barnard College has since banned von Abele from its campus, but Columbia has yet to take any disciplinary action.
A Columbia College spokesperson declined to comment on the specifics of the incident, but pointed to the Bias and Discrimination Response protocol for responding to acts of hate.
Read the full email sent to Carman residents below:
Dear Carman Community,
I write to make you aware of an incident that has come to the forefront for many students in Carman Hall. In early December, an air vent cover that had been torn off the wall and marked with an anti-black racial slur was placed outside a resident’s door.
While we addressed the incident with the residents impacted in the moment, we now believe that we need to share with the larger Carman community. Every student in Carman has a right to feel safe in our community regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender and other aspects of identity.
Our efforts to create healing and action in Carman will continue into next semester, with a commitment from Residential Life and Multicultural Affairs to work with RAs to create meaningful opportunities for education and dialogue. We welcome your input as this process continues.
If you have been impacted by these recent events, please know that you are not alone and do not have to suffer in silence. I realize this is a particularly stressful time, and that this communication may further impact your well-being. I encourage you to use any of the below resources for support as you navigate finals:
- Counseling and Psychological Services - 212-854-2878
- Office of the University Chaplain (faith-based support and spiritual counseling) - 212-854-1493
- Multicultural Affairs – 212-854-0720
- Berick Center for Student Advising - 212-854-6378
To report an incident:
- University Life’s website: Click on the “Report an Incident” button at the top
- If you have a safety concern, please contact Columbia Public Safety - 212-854-5555
And please, please reach out to me or any other Residential life staff member when you need us. Our community certainly has much work to do, but my colleagues and I care about you and welcome opportunities to connect.
Residence Hall Director