On Nov. 24, in Lamont Library at Harvard University, an empty bottle that appeared to have contained urine was found on a shelf near forty urine-soaked books that discuss lesbian and gay issues, including same-sex marriage. The books were removed and the damage assessed before a report was filed this past Friday. There's still no word on whether or not the books will be replaced.
In an email to The Crimson, Harvard's daily newspaper, Dean Evelynn M. Hammonds wrote, "Harvard College will not tolerate acts of vandalism, especially those that appear to be motivated by hate or bias. [As] a community, we will continue to affirm our shared values of dignity and respect for everyone in our community."
So why did it take so long for a report to be filed?
According to the Harvard University Police Department, the issue was originally assessed as a health threat, and it took two weeks to determine the value of the books, said to be somewhere around a “few thousand dollars.” Now, however, they are viewing it as a “bias crime.” To this, Steven Catalano, police dept. spokesperson, said, "The HUPD has zero tolerance for any bias-related incidents or crimes."
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