"Die Dyke" were the words written on a dry erase board near Alyssa Kolessar's door in Pinney Hall Monday. Western Connecticut State University Police investigated an earlier such incident on Feb. 27.
"It's the second time," Kolessar said. "I get angry. I have a very low tolerance for ignorance. I can handle it, but I get very defensive when they do it to someone else."
Kolessar said the reason 50 students met in the Quad Wednesday at was to say, "Stop." Students said they knew of 12 such incidents in the last year. Kolessar's incident was the fourth in a week, and University President James Schmotter said Wednesday, "Enough is enough."
"The cowardly writing of such anonymous messages may be easy, but it causes real pain and discomfort for those targeted. Such hate speech has no place at
this university and will not be tolerated," Schmotter said in a campus-wide e-mail. "If, as in those previous incidents, perpetrators are identified, they will be prosecuted in accordance with campus and state and federal legal codes."
Federal law comes into play because almost every single use of the internet involves crossing state lines. The incidents are investigated as "intimidation based on bigotry or bias."
"My guess is it's coming from someone who grew up in a small Connecticut town, and this was the first time they heard, 'I'm gay,'" said William Love, who said he came out as gay at age 16 at Danbury High School. "People are exposed to things in college they're weren't normally exposed to."
Love said the idea for the silent protest, which was also called a silent vigil, arose from students talking about the recent bias crimes. By 6 p.m. Tuesday, students were using Facebook accounts, Twitter, Tumblr as well as traditional face to face meetings to spread word of the protest.
In a separate incident reported at Fairfield Hall, WCSU police are investigating threatening and harassing blogs posed on a Tumblr account belonging to two students. That was reported March 6 at 10:41 a.m.
The word "Fags," was written on a paper taped to the door of a student at Litchfield Hall on March 3.