Rudenstine Decries Lowell Vandalism

President Says Anti-Gay Graffiti Goes Beyond Bounds of Free Speech

President Neil L. Rudenstine yesterday condemned the anti-gay vandalism that occurred at Lowell House on Monday night.

Rudenstine addressed the defacement of a Lowell House undergraduate's door at the end of a previously scheduled interview yesterday.

"I think it's just intolerable behavior," he said. "Free speech is one thing, but when you actually begin to deface the property, insult in an individual and provocative way a particular person, then you're no longer in the bounds of speech. You're in the bounds of a very different kind of action."

Frank M. Habit '92 said Tuesday that someone scrawled the word "faggot" on his door and tore down two postcards. One postcard showed two male dancers and the other read, "Closets are for clothes and not people," he said.

Investigation Continues


College administrators are continuing an investigation of the incident and the Lowell House co-masters plan to send a letter expressing their concern to all residents, officials said.

Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57 acknowledged yesterday that the incident could justify the expulsion of the vandal.

"Somebody clearly set out to vandalize property," he said. "This could be grounds for expulsion, but each case is different and must be looked at in terms of its specific circumstances."

Disciplinary Action

In an interview last night, Habit said he expects the College administration to take disciplinary action against the vandal.

"I don't think free speech extends to vandalizing someone else's door. This is an attack," Habit said. "At the very least, I would hope for a severe reprimand."

Although officials are attempting to identify the vandal, Lowell House Senior Tutor Alexandra L. Barcus said there are currently no suspects.

"I'm not sure we'll ever find the culprit," she said. "Anyone who could gain access to the house could have vandalized the door."

Editors of Peninsula, a conservative student magazine, yesterday joined the Harvard-Radcliffe Bisexual Gay and Lesbian Students Association (BGLSA) in condemning the vandalism.

Philip P. Pan and Maggie S. Tucker contributed to the reporting of this article.

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