Ellensburg, WA — (10-31-21) — Central Washington University students, faculty, and staff are still in shock over the Oct. 23 incident of a “heinous act” of homophobic and politically partisan vandalism that took place at the campus library.

Campus officials quickly erased the homophobic slurs but questions of campus security for LGBTQ students has now become a major issue for the University.

“It is important to state, unequivocally, that the propagation of hate will not be tolerated at our university,” wrote CWU President Jim Wohlpart in a campus-wide email. “Central Washington University has zero tolerance for any act of hate or aggression against any member of our LGBTQIA+ community or any other member of our community. We are an inclusive and accepting university that is strongly committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all of our students. We will not tolerate any types of actions that reduce the humanity of others, make them feel unwelcome, or decrease their sense of safety and belonging.” wrote Wohpart.

Wohlpart added that anyone with information about the heinous act of vandalism should call 509-963-2111 or email cwu.president@cwu.edu. Confidentiality is assured.

Equality through Queers and Allies (EQuAl), a student-run organization dedicated to providing a “safe space for all” at CWU, issued the following statement on its Facebook page over the incident:

“On the CWU campus alone, our community witnessed our flag, which serves as our symbol of pride, peace, and unity, being mutilated during a time when we nationally celebrate our communal strength-only four months ago.

It is these acts of hatred which constantly remind us that we must also reflect on our grief, grief for the children who are teased so terribly that they retract from school, grief for the individuals who are shunned from what they thought was supposed to be their home, and grief for the individuals who conclude that taking their own life is less painful than experiencing yet another incident of hatred. And we are all too familiar with something seemingly so trivial as pen markings in a library pushing one of our people to that decision.

So many of us have exceeded a point of inquisition accustomed to, ‘when will it stop?’ and have arrived at a point where we now ask, ‘when will it happen again?’ For that reason, [EQuAl] consolidates with our members and all members of the LGBTQ+ community to remind those who are weak in hope and those who fight against us that LOVE WILL ALWAYS CONQUER HATE.”

EQuAl is part of the Equity & Services Council (ESC) at the Central Washington University.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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