Letter from the Editorial Board

Letter+from+the+Editorial+Board

To the Lafayette community,

The number of hate crimes has been increasing in our country since 2014, and in 2019, we saw a record high number of hate-motivated murders and gender identity-based assaults, according to the FBI. These incidents are not isolated and reflect ongoing and systematic discrimination in our country. Lafayette is not immune to this disturbing trend.

We at The Lafayette stand in solidarity with victims of these crimes and want to address concerns raised over the past week in regard to a reported hate crime that occurred just off campus at the end of last May.

We did not cover this incident as thoroughly as we could have. We did not name the victim in order to protect their privacy but, as a result, we also did not present their side. We must report facts as they are presented, and without official confirmation of the incident, we were forced to refer to it as alleged. This, however, does not reflect the views of the editorial staff. We know an incident occurred. We condemn hate crimes and stand with those affected by them.

Last week’s sports article about tight end Steven Stilianos ’22 not currently playing football included a quote from the Director of Athletic Communications, Phillip LaBella, stating that “Stilianos continues to be part of the Lafayette football family.”

The editorial staff does not support this sentiment.

The only communication from the college on this incident was on the night after the event from Dean of Students Brian Samble, announcing that an investigation was underway. For our article, staff and faculty refused to comment. The only response came from LaBella. He said that Director of Athletics Sherryta Freeman and head coach of Lafayette football John Garrett had “no further comment on this topic.”

The lack of communication from the administration on the incident is an insult to the campus community, but it is distressingly familiar.

The Lafayette will continue to strive to create a platform that can amplify marginalized voices on campus. We remain committed to bringing these incidents to light so they do not go unnoticed as they historically have at Lafayette and across the country. We urge the Lafayette community to reach out to us and utilize us as a vehicle to make a change on our campus. We encourage students, staff and faculty to submit op-eds and letters to the editor on their views on this pressing issue.

We will continue to cover this situation as it develops.

Signed,

The Lafayette Editorial Board