Canisius Responds to Bias-Related Graffiti Incident
By Jon Dusza
Over winter break, Canisius College responded to a bias-related graffiti incident that was reported to them in the Richard B. Winter Student Center.
Upon learning about the incident as the winter break was coming to a close, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Dr. Harold Fields contacted Canisius’s Bias Response and Resource Team and confirmed that Public Safety had been contacted. After that, the graffiti was “removed very soon after discovery.”
Fields told The Griffin that the graffiti was on a blackboard on the second floor of the Student Center near the club rooms and was “universally offensive in the context of our Jesuit values and our commitment to creating an inclusive community.”
Fields says that dealing with these incidents “is of paramount importance. Bias-related incidents undermine our efforts to build welcoming and inclusive communities where all of our students feel a sense of belonging and can participate in all Canisius has to offer them inside and outside the classroom.”
The investigation to find the perpetrator is still ongoing.
“It is challenging to prevent ideas and attitudes that subjugate other individuals from proliferating in our community and others,” Fields said. “We can, however, work to plan programs and events that help illuminate and challenge conscious and unconscious bias.”
Fields also mentioned the importance that falls on everybody at Canisius to be allies and to not tolerate behavior such as the one exhibited in this bias incident. He also cited the Jesuit value of “being people for and with others” and it being something that Canisius promises to live up to.
“I have been impressed so far by our students' familiarity with Jesuit values and their application of them to their living and learning experiences,” Fields said. “If we continue to lean into those ideas as central to the Canisius experience, I believe our students will continue to help ensure this is a campus community that welcomes students from all identities and backgrounds.”