Dean Braun Addresses Hate Speech at Swarthmore Queer Union Party

In a campus-wide email sent at 2:35 p.m. today, Dean Liz Braun wrote:

Dear Friends,

I am writing to inform you about a report I received regarding a very upsetting occurrence of hate speech that was directed towards a Swarthmore student at a recent Swarthmore Queer Union party. Our student was called a derogatory homophobic term several times by a group of three individuals while he was dancing with another man. Unfortunately we have not been able to identify these individuals and whether they were Swarthmore students, Tri-co students, or guests. If you have any additional information regarding this incident, please contact the Dean’s office.

I know that you will join me in supporting our student and the Queer community as a whole. This disturbing incident is a reminder that we must be vigilant in our efforts to work together to cultivate a community where civility and inclusivity are at the core and where hate will never be tolerated.

Many of you may have already seen the editorial written in The Phoenix by our student who was the victim of this unprovoked verbal attack, I’d like to ask all of you to reflect on the question that he posed to our community in that article, “But in the meanwhile, I want to ask our community a question. How can we make the message clear, to those who are not currently hearing it, that integrity, kindness, sincerity, and respect should be universal, not contingent on a person’s gender identification, sexuality, race, or any other inherent aspect of that person?”

I hope that we take this question seriously and I challenge all of us to consider how we can strive to hold ourselves and each other accountable to the highest standards of respect and understanding.


Liz Braun
Dean of Students


  1. Greg R.

    As unfortunate as this sounds, I think the problem is that we aren’t speaking the language of the bigot. “Hey Hitler, you’re being anti-Semitic”.

    There are probably laws and rules against advocating violence, but I think it may be justified in these situations.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  2. Holly

    …what? How could that possibly be justified and/or brushed aside? Hell no. Letting it slide and allowing people to use hateful language only opens the door for more extreme hateful acts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

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