March 23, 2016

Derogatory messages written near LGBT Center

By Phillip Lentsch–

In the wake of previous racial tensions at Threlkeld Hall, another disparaging incident has hit U of L.

The afternoon of March 23, Interim Provost Neville Pinto and Vice Provost Mordean Taylor-Archer sent a campus-wide email notifying students of derogatory messages that were spray-painted on the plaza in front of the Red Barn.

According to the email, “derogatory and threatening language” was used against the LGBT community, and was sprayed near the entrance to the LGBT Center sometime over spring break.

University of Louisville Police Assistant Chief of Police Kenny Brown confirmed the words “Die Fags” were spray painted on the front of the Red Barn. Brown said a report being filed was as far as the investigation has gotten.

“This and similar incidents strike at the heart of our institution,” Pinto and Taylor-Archer said in the email. “Our students, faculty and staff have worked hard to build environments in which we embrace our differences and support and learn from one another.”

Brown said discriminatory acts are not becoming more common on campus.

“Discriminatory acts have been very far and few between. We get very few of them,” Brown said.

In light of the incident, multiple U of L officials reminded students that U of L is considered one of the most LGBT-friendly schools.

“Incidents like this are terrible, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that U of L is still ranked as one of the most LGBT-friendly schools in the country,” Brian Buford, LGBT Center director, said. “If anything, this should serve as a reflection of the work we have to do moving forward.”

“One of the notable outcomes of our efforts is that U of L has been cited as the most LGBT-friendly university in the South and among the most supportive in the nation,” the email said.

University officials and the U of L Police Department were quick to remove the graffiti, and are still looking for information about who’s responsible. ULPD can be reached at 502-852-6111.

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