On February 2, The Heights reported on an incident of vandalism in the Boston College residence hall of CLXF on the third floor of Xavier. According to Heights reporting, door decorations were torn off, doors were knocked on, and trash bins were knocked over. This incident occurred on a Saturday night.
What I take issue with in The Heights article, is not the reporting, but the conclusion that The Heights draws from this incident on Xavier three. I—someone who endured vandalism last year (almost every weekend) in the CLXF dorm of Fenwick three—absolutely hate vandalism, and I would like to see those who partook in the vandalism on Xavier three to be held accountable for destroying the floor. What I do not want to see happen is these students be labeled racist and be punished for a hate crime, when I am not certain the facts definitively lead us to that conclusion.
The Heights suggests, and others mentioned in the article argue, that this vandalism was racially motivated because the target of the vandalism was a Multicultural Learning Experience (MLE) floor, which consists of mostly racial minority students. Based on Heights reporting, the only other evidence to suggest that this was a hate crime was that the event was restricted to Xavier three, and that the students who vandalized the floor were not from CLXF.
I do not think that the evidence The Heights has presented is nearly enough to conclude that this was a racially motivated and targeted attack, especially when we do not yet have the full picture. This event occurred on a Saturday night, a night when most Freshman dorms can get very rowdy, and are thus prone to vandalizing floors. Additionally, there is no evidence presented in the article that this incident was racially motivated other than the fact that this floor is an MLE floor. There is also limited evidence that The Heights presents to suggest this was a targeted attack.
Once we get the full picture it may end up that this incident was a racially motivated and targeted event. But, in my opinion, it is equally likely that this incident consisted of a couple of intoxicated college students who were being disruptive and inconsiderate, with no rhyme or reason to their actions. I do not think the newspaper should have written this article in a manner which leads the reader to conclude that this incident was beyond a doubt a hate crime. Also, I do not think those who were quoted in the article jumping to the conclusion of this incident being a hate crime did so properly. The accusation is potentially life ruining for these students, and I believe it is wholly unjust to make such a bold claim when we do not have all the evidence to confidently support it.
Boston College, MCAS ’23
Editor’s note: This letter has been shortened in order to adhere to The Heights Letter to the Editor policy.