The Hoya is partnering with investigative reporting nonprofit ProPublica, other news outlets and civil rights groups to document instances of hate crimes and bias-related incidents on Georgetown’s campus.
Hate speech and crime is up nationwide, including on college campuses. Last month, a BuzzFeed News investigation confirmed 154 instances of hate speech and violence at 120 different college campuses in the United States since November 2016.
The national uptick in bias-related instances at universities has also affected Georgetown. On the first night of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah on Sept. 20, the Georgetown community discovered several graffiti with anti-Semitic and misogynistic messages painted on a restroom in LXR Hall. Last spring, fliers from white nationalist group Identity Evropa were posted around campus, with messages such as “Let’s become great again” and “Serve your people.”
Hate crimes are defined by the FBI as criminal offenses “motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.” The term “bias-related,” according to the Georgetown Code of Student Conduct, refers to language and behaviors that demonstrate bias against persons because of the aforementioned criteria.
Although members of the Georgetown community can report an instance of bias or hate directly to the Georgetown University Police Department or through the university’s bias-reporting form, the personal accounts of those affected are rarely, if ever, publicly heard. Through ProPublica’s Documenting Hate project, victims and witnesses of hate crimes or bias incidents can speak to reporters at The Hoya about their experiences to the extent they feel comfortable doing so, which helps journalists better track incidents and identify patterns of bias at Georgetown.
Information submitted through the Documenting Hate form will not be shared with the university, and victims can remain anonymous on published articles if they so choose. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a legal advocacy nonprofit that tracks hate groups and extremism, recommends that victims and witnesses of hate crimes contact law enforcement first.
If you have experienced or witnessed any instances of hate or bias on campus, tell your story to The Hoya using the form below. After submitting, a reporter may contact you for more details.
To report a crime to the Georgetown University Police Department, call (202) 687-4343. To contact the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, call its hate crime hotline at (202) 727-0500. In the event of an emergency, dial 911.