*Updated on Nov. 10 at 8:09 a.m.*
A student was verbally harassed on the basis of perceived sexual orientation by four males near the intersection of 37th and Prospect Streets, the victim reported to the Department of Public Safety early Monday morning. The harassment was the fourth anti-gay bias-related incident reported in the past two weeks.
The student was verbally harassed but no physical contact or threats were made, according to a DPS Public Safety Alert. The student did not respond to the comments and continued walking. DPS said the incident was reported at 12:30 a.m. on Monday.
The victim was able to physically describe two of the suspects. Both males were about 6-foot with curly, dark hair; one was slim, the other heavyset. No physical descriptions were offered for the other two suspects.
The incident was reported to the Metropolitan Police Department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit.
On Oct. 27, a female student was physically assaulted on Canal Road while reportedly wearing a T-shirt supporting gay rights. On Nov. 1, it was reported that a student was assaulted near the intersection of 36th and N Streets. According to a PSA, the victim was asked “Are you a homo?” before being physically assaulted.
The next day, LGBTQ Resource Center Director Shiva Subbaraman found a note, reading “Homo go home to India” and reportedly directed at her, posted on the door of the center.
In response to the incidents, student leaders organized rallies in Red Square on Oct. 30 and Nov. 1, as well as a vigil on Nov. 2. On Nov. 5, the LGBTQ Resource Center hosted a discussion with administrators regarding changes to the university’s safety protocol, payment of DPS officers and the Code of Student Conduct’s classification of hate crimes.
embers of GU Pride have not yet planned any specific events in response to the latest incident; they are holding a general meeting open to the public on Thursday in the Intercultural Center at 8:30 p.m., however.
“Any bias-related incident is unfortunate, and I feel bad for the victim. The fact that it was a student harassed by a group of men is particularly scary. However, it is good that these incidents, even non-violent, get reported quickly, and it seems that they are being reported at a higher rate,” said Laura Kresse (SFS ’12), the treasurer of GU Pride.
“What we now need to do is keep reporting verbal and physical bias-related incidents to show the attackers that this is not acceptable and to show the university that improvements must be made to campus safety,” Kresse said.