Samantha Scetta – Editor-in-Chief
In emails from The Office of The President, two incidents regarding students being harassed on campus were addressed. The perpetrators are allegedly not members of the Rhode Island College Community.
President Sanchez also informed the college community that campus security will be heightened, by the use of increased police forces and patrols.
The first email, sent out last Thursday, Feb. 7, informed the student body that “we have been reminded once again that Rhode Island College is not immune from people who seek to disrupt our educational mission by sowing seeds of hatred, racism and bigotry”, as students walking across campus reported racial slurs being “hurled at them over the past two days.”
The second email that was sent to students last Friday, Feb. 8, informed students that obscenities that were not racially influenced were yelled at female students walking across campus on Thursday night.
In response to these incidents, President Sanchez states that the patrols on campus will be doubled, and police forces from Providence and North Providence will also be involved.
The Anchor spoke with a few RIC students who are active members of the campus community regarding their thoughts and concerns surrounding these incidents and the increased patrols on campus.
Raquel Villot, a sophomore at RIC who is majoring in biology says that she has always had a positive experience with campus police.
However, she does have some concerns. Villot said, “Because we have an open campus, I feel that doubling patrol is the college’s only option. However, I wouldn’t want the increased patrol to be permanent, only lasting until the perpetrators realize the increase and stop. But this doubling of patrol does make me feel slightly uneasy because I have heard rumors and stories about minorities being treated poorly by campus police”
Nick Duhamel, who is majoring in Social Work and is a grief facilitator at FRIENDSWAY, Rhode Island’s only child bereavement center, also gave The Anchor a statement regarding his thoughts on the matter:
“Because of the incident that transpired the other day, I have noticed an increase in patrol on campus. It was just last night that a providence police officer slowly drove by me, his eyes locked on mine to almost say “you aren’t causing trouble are you”. I feel that an increase in patrol on campus is not the answer, rather this situation should call students together to rally for equality and the vanquishment of any type of discriminatory behavior filled with hate. Though I am happy with the school responding serious to this matter, I feel it Is only breaking the surface of action. Students need to feel safe, and Police Presence does not always accomplish that.”
Luckily, our campus has resources aplenty for students to turn to in times when they feel safety is compromised.
You can make an online appointment with the RIC Counseling Center by visiting www.ric.edu/counseling-center, or call the Rhode Island College HOPE line at 401-456-HOPE (4673) for 24/7 support. The Unity Center is also open Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., and Friday until 4:00 p.m.
Also, keep your student media groups in mind and reach out to email@example.com if you or someone you know has information regarding incidents of harassment on campus that you would like publicized.