If you’ve made it to this page in The Gatepost this week, then you’ve seen some news articles regarding offensive vandalism, excrement and drugs – not most people’s favorite combination.
These articles may seem to reflect negatively on FSU, and come at a particularly inopportune time, given this Saturday is Accepted Students’ Reception, at which hundreds of potential students and their families will be kicking the tires of the University, so to speak.
Most parents don’t dream of their children going to a school where swastikas and feces make front-page news.
While it is The Gatepost’s job to report on incidents that are important to our student body in a timely and truthful fashion, we also want to make sure we give accolades to those who have handled these difficult, hateful or just plain gross incidents swiftly and with fair judgement.
The truth is, incidents such as the ones in the pages of our paper this week unfortunately happen at any institution, but the manner in which administrators and staff members handle these cases is the basis on which an institution should be judged.
Last semester, there was an incident in which a dorm room door was vandalized with a swastika, and it was not investigated as a hate crime. After student protests, our administration acknowledged this was problematic and worked on ways to categorize crimes more accurately and improve investigations into these types of incidents.
FSU has implemented the Bias Protocol and Response Team this semester in order to address hate crimes and bias incidents such as the swastika that was carved into a student’s car a week ago.
Progress is being made toward dealing with these instances in ways which will hopefully prevent further hate crimes from happening and respond to those which do happen thoroughly and effectively.
Feces were found in a stairwell in Larned Hall this past week. The stairwell was cleaned quickly by the Facilities staff, to whom everyone on campus – but especially those in this particular dorm – should certainly be grateful. Despite the repugnant nature of this discovery, it should be noted that this is certainly not a typical incident.
As anyone who walks around this picturesque campus can see, FSU students generally love and care about this campus and treat it like home. In fact, when The Gatepost asked students what they like most about FSU, the majority said they love the small, community-driven quality of the campus.
Finally, while there was an incident of drug confiscation and a verbal altercation recently, it should be recognized that the RAs and campus police officers involved responded quickly, reasonably and with patience.
If you are a potential student exploring our campus this weekend, trying to decide whether FSU might be a place you will soon call home, you should take into consideration that while FSU isn’t a place filled with rainbows and roses, it is a beautiful campus with a largely respectful and tight-knit community.
We at The Gatepost wish to remind current and prospective community members that while FSU is not perfect, it is full of people who are willing to rise to the occasion to prove that this community’s strengths are worth its occasional flaws.