Res Life to address threatening message with community meeting

Inside the residence halls in Holcomb Hall. A meeting was held to discuss the note posted on bulletin board on November 15th. (File photo/The Daily Campus)

Staff from the University of Connecticut’s Residential Life program will hold a community meeting for a floor after its resident assistant found a note reading “All chinks should raped” with a swastika on her bulletin board display on Nov. 15.

The note targeted the RA’s race and was attached to a bulletin board next to the RA’s room. The display, titled “Love Will Prevail,” consisted of a pledge of inclusivity as well as information about affirmative action and nonviolent protests.

The community meeting could be either a floor-wide event or something larger depending upon the effect on the University of Connecticut community, Pamela Schipani, the Executive Director of ResLife, said.

Schipani said the RA on duty contacted the UConn police, who took statements and pictures of the scene. Although there was no security footage or witnesses, Schipani said she remains optimistic about the investigation.

“You’d be surprised, sometimes there’s none of that and they’re able to find somebody responsible. I’m hopeful that they'll be able to do that, but you never really know,” Schipani said. “The point that we try to make is that even if we don’t identify the person responsible we do have a community response to this because this hurts the community as well as the individuals targeted.”

If a perpetrator is identified, the incident would be brought before the Office of Community Standards, Schipani said.

“We’re an educational institution and we want people to learn from their mistakes, but there are some things that aren’t tolerated, so that really depends on what happens in administrative conversations or a formalized hearing,” Schipani said.

Schipani said she wouldn’t describe the incident as being a direct result of the presidential election.

“We could attribute that to the election or we could attribute that to this being an extremely high stress time in the semester,” Schipani said. “We always see an uptick in incidents - you know, roommate conflicts, these kinds of bias related things - it’s not that unusual this time of year. Everyone’s emotional and nasty things happen.”

The Office of Residential Life is in the process of remodeling its programming to better help students understand the kind of environment they are expected to create in residence halls, Schipani said.


Kimberly Armstrong is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at kimberly.armstrong@uconn.edu.