First came the lice. They invaded the heads (and sheets, and clothes, and pillows) of the girls of the Barnard Quad back in October. Next up on the nuisance continuum: “racist” graffiti. 

It’s barely eight hours into the first day of the semester, and controversy has already erupted in the form of graffiti scribbled on dry-erase boards in Hewitt. The nature of the graffiti is first described as “racist”, but later as “targeting feminism.” Perhaps the correct term might have been “sexist”? In any event, the entire Barnard community received an email alerting them to the events and subsequent series of meetings to discuss the code of conduct. 

Frankly, we’re a bit nostalgic for the lice. Full email after the jump.

To the Barnard Community –

As some of you may know, several incidents of racist graffiti were found over the weekend on memo boards on the 6th floor of Hewitt Hall.  Whether or not these actions of blatant bias were committed by a member, or members, of our community, they were committed within our community and therefore affect us all.

This is a deeply distressing start to the new semester, and insofar as the graffiti appear to target feminism, it is appalling to encounter this at a women’s college. It is my hope that we will not allow these senseless acts to begin a cycle of anger and response. Instead, there is an opportunity here, as we return to campus for the spring, to commit to a positive and open exchange of thoughts and ideas, and a culture of respect for all members of our community.

Last night there was a floor meeting for Hewitt Hall residents and this Thursday, at 7:00 p.m. in the James Room, an important community forum will be held to address a new Barnard Community Code of Conduct. The discussion will be facilitated by a committee of administrators and students and I strongly encourage you all to attend.

Judith Shapiro