Students respond to latest administrative action after Rainbow Floor Incidents

By Farah Bassyouni Feb 11, 2022

On the afternoon of Tuesday, February 8, the campus community received an email from the administration reporting that the Dean of Students office was “notified of a hate incident where a male person yelled threats and a homophobic slur on first floor Pfeiffer (the Rainbow Floor)”. 

 

The email was the latest attempt to address what the administration described as “unacceptable behavior from the past few weeks (floor disruption, vandalism of flags)” and added that “this new behavior even further crosses the line of respectful inclusive campus behavior.”

 

The latest incident and this first campus-wide email came just four days after The Argus published a story about the Rainbow Floor incidents (“IWU’s response to Rainbow Floor vandalism leaves residents dissatisfied”).

 

RA Rory Sloan described the latest floor disruption as a  male person who yelled “Everyone safe in their rooms? F—-g f——ts”. Sloan also confirmed that the person in question has been moved out of Pfeiffer and into the IWU guesthouse. 

 

In addition to the repeated vandalism and theft of the flags, the usage of the slur falls under disorderly conduct, intimidation and transmission of obscene messages in an educational facility, which constitutes as a Class 2 felony in the state of Illinois. 

 

Additionally, the email noted  IWU has enhanced Campus Safety presence, explored additional security cameras, ordered replacement flags for those that were damaged and worked collaboratively to address concerns. 

 

“We all have a role to play in addressing bias on our campus,” Carney-hall said in the email. 

 

Just a day later, on Wednesday, February 9, another school-wide email was sent stating that while the university “cannot share the outcome of the investigation due to confidentiality, we can share that the disruption on inclusivity has been addressed in accordance with our student code of conduct.” 

 

Moving forward, Pride Exec member and resident of the Rainbow Floor Nina DeBoni said that Pride has “contacted multiple departments about showing support, to which there was enthusiastic response, and Pride will be hanging up flags in CLA”. DeBoni also said that Pride is planning a de-stressing activity for Rainbow Floor residents to further show support for the LGBTQ+ student body. 

 

However, there seems to still be dissatisfaction with the university’s response, especially in regards to withholding the person’s identity and the consequences they’ll be facing. 

“I’m glad that the individual has been removed from Pfeiffer, however that is only a measure of securing our safety” DeBoni said. 

 

DeBoni said that while the University does not have to comment on the punishment, but that they believe that there should be a certain level of communication that clarifies how the individual is being taught about the wrongness of their actions. 

 

“I want to know that this person is going through some sort of rigorous disciplinary practice that teaches them why what they did was wrong. I want them to be able to learn from it, because just removing them kills any educational opportunity for awareness of homophobia at IWU,” DeBoni said. 

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