Payden Adams, a gay student at Southern Utah University student, who’s running for the Student Association Activities vice presidential spot, is having a hard time keeping his campaign posters around campus: yet another one was defaced with “offensive language in red marker,” while others have been pulled down or shredded. Are we ready to call this a hate crime?
This news report says only “offensive language” was written on the posters, but as you’ll see in the picture, “homo fagz” is clearly what’s written. That’s not offensive. That’s targeting a student because of his sexuality.
SUU Police Chief Rick Brown said he was made aware of the incident, but was awaiting more information before investigating. Brown said the incident would be treated as a criminal mischief case if someone is arrested. Upon hearing the alleged victim of the vandalism was gay, Brown said that would bring in a separate case against the suspect for a hate crime. “It wasn’t brought to my attention that someone was targeted for his sexual orientation, but if that is the case when I receive more detail, it would be considered a hate crime,” he said. “We would look at the severity of the case and see if that is a different charge.”
QSA President Benjamin Smith said this is also not the first case of “bigotry on the SUU campus,” according to the release. In October 2009, vandals defaced QSA advertisements for National Coming Out Day with statements of “stay straight SUU,” Smith said, noting he “is shocked to find this level of hate still existent on campus.” “I thought that as college students, and educated adults, we would be above this,” Smith said. “This is a blatant act of bigotry, nothing less.”
Also, anti-gay vandals of the world? Can you please come up with more creative phrases than “homo fagz,” “you’re gay,” and “faggot.” I mean really. How much are your parents spending on your education? Make them prouder.