A Clark Kerr Campus resident director reported an incident of homophobic vandalism inside a unisex bathroom last week, marking what is at least the second hate-related incident to transpire on the UC Berkeley campus this month.
A restroom in Building 3 at Clark Kerr was vandalized between Saturday and Wednesday. A UCPD report on the incident states that the perpetrator wrote a message and drew a phallic symbol on a flier that promoted cleanliness and depicted an image of a health worker.
Marty Takimoto, spokesperson for Residential and Student Service Programs, said “homophobic remarks” were written on the fliers. Police are investigating the case.
Takimoto said that such behavior is unacceptable but that it does happen from time to time in the residence halls.
“With 7,000 students in student housing, it happens occasionally,” he said.
Takimoto stressed that the residence halls’ primary goal is to build a bond between students based on mutual respect for one another.
“We put a lot of emphasis on creating a community for our students,” Takimoto said. “The Clark Kerr incident took place within the first week of school, and some students have not yet realized what that’s all about.”
Billy Curtis, executive director of the campus’s Multicultural, Sexuality, and Gender centers, echoed this sentiment and expressed his discontent with the recent act of hate.
“It saddens me,” he said. “It concerns me. The first thought I have is, how did that person (who discovered the vandalism) feel when they experienced that? It can really be scary, and my heart goes out to them.”
This is not the only hate-related incident to occur last month on campus. Earlier, a UC Berkeley custodian was the target of racially motivated hate speech in a classroom in Wheeler Hall.
UCPD Lt. Marc DeCoulode refuted the notion that there has been a significant increase in the occurrence of hate incidents on campus, but he said that when such incidents do happen, UCPD takes them seriously.
In addition to reporting hate incidents to the police, Curtis encourages students to report them online at stophate.berkeley.edu, a website run by the Gender Equity Resource Center that allows students to report hate crimes anonymously and contains resources for victims.