On March 3, 2022, a floor of the University of Connecticut’s Busby Suites was vandalized with racial slurs. According to Black at UConn, an Instagram account that posts anonymous stories of BIPOC students, the vandalism was targeted toward a Black RA.
“It is heartbreaking to hear that Residents Assistants have to deal with harassment and racism from their peers,” Black at UConn said in a post Saturday. “It is angering to see how [UConn] has not been transparent with this incident like [they] have promised to be.”
Included in the post were images of a door and surrounding walls, with the N-word written on a wall and a door’s whiteboard.
UConn Residential Life has since named the vandalism a bias-related incident, and the UConn Police Department has an open and active investigation, said university spokesperson Stephanie Reitz.
According to Reitz, UConn Police have identified and interviewed suspects, at least one of whom is not affiliated with the University.
“As with any alleged case of bias, UConn Police will conduct a thorough investigation in our efforts to identify those responsible and hold them accountable for their actions,” said UConn Police Chief Gerald Lewis. “We continue to support our university partners in providing a safe and inclusive environment in which to learn, work and live.”
On March 11, Residential Life addressed the bias-related incident in a letter to Busby residents.
“On March 3, 2022, there was an incident that occurred which is considered to be bias related in nature,” read the letter. “This type of behavior is directly against the University of Connecticut’s values of striving to create a safe and inclusive community for all students.”
According to the letter, Hall staff distributed door tags reading “Hate has no home here” that same week. The letter encouraged Busby residents to place the tags on their doors.
“As you move forward in immersing yourself in the community, please keep in mind that small actions have a major impact,” continued the letter.
Residents were also encouraged to hold their peers accountable and reminded that they are responsible for their guests’ behavior.
“If you encounter any other bias related incidents within the community, please do not hesitate to report it through the bias reporting form, call the RA on-duty at 860-234-2183 or call UCPD by dialing 860-486-4800,” concluded the letter.