Student Assaulted on Allen Place
Since my last article dealt with unwarranted emails to the student body, I thought it would be fitting to follow up on that theme, given the ongoing situation this weekend. I was woken up this morning (Sunday, March 4) to the sound of my smartphone’s email notification chime. I’m sure many of you were in a similar situation. It is never a good Sunday when the first words entering your mind are “what happened,” whether to yourself or a fellow student. And, while the thought of a student being beaten by several people is certainly terrifying, Jorge Lugo’s email to the student body and staff left me content that necessary action was being taken.
I have been extremely critical of campus-wide emails sent by members of Trinity’s administration, both with my peers and in my writing. I have found a great many of these emails to be pedantic and self-serving, with no real message other than “Trinity is great, keep giving us your money.” This morning’s email, however, was exactly what it should have been. It was concise, free of racially-charged identifiers, and careful to include all the pertinent information regarding what the school is doing. Especially in light of recent campus safety emails which have “identified” perpetrators based on perceived ethnicity and place of origin (whether it be Hartford, Trinity, or elsewhere), I found this email to be more than adequate. It was sensitive to the situation while at the same time keeping in mind that Trinity students are concerned about safety on campus.
Now, with this in mind, I would like to address the email sent out at approximately 1:34 (and, apparently, again at 1:50. I received the email twice) this afternoon. A self-reported friend of the victim, using a list of student emails which I can only assume is comprehensive (and, based on the language used in the email, probably should not have included any staff members) used the opportunity to rant at the apparent lax nature of campus security, while simultaneously instigating unfound hatred toward the Hartford community. The student writes, “This individual, a close friend, was mercilessly beaten up by six Hartford locals who pulled up in a car… “Unclear” whether or not this was Trinity students!?!!?”
If it is true what the student writes, that the victim in question was beaten “to within an inch of his life,” there is certainly cause for alarm. I certainly don’t feel safe on Trinity’s campus when a fellow student is sent to the hospital. Here’s the thing though: I feel far safer in Hartford than I do on campus. In the year-and-a-half that I have attended Trinity, I have only ever felt threatened by fellow students, and usually on nights where Vernon Street is full of parties. What’s more, the student’s use of the phrase “Hartford locals” gives me reason to believe this response was little more than a terrified outburst of angry energy. While few could blame the writer for being enraged by the assault of his friend, there is no excuse for this pejorative demeanor. And yes, I do believe that the term “Hartford locals” has devolved into nothing more than a racially-charged slur. The hatred on Trinity’s campus toward our greater community, many of whom are Hispanic, makes for a great deal of confusion as to why many of these students still attend Trinity. Trinity considers building a wall around campus; it puts people out of their homes and continues a sort of Manifest Destiny expansionism in Hartford, and people wonder why Hartford dislikes us. Our own student body is fragmented by the racist tendencies of those students who would see in every dark-skinned student a potential attacker.
At the time being, there is no way to know who the attackers were in last night’s incident. There is no way to know whether they were “Hartford locals,” Trinity students, or random passers-by. To claim otherwise is not only ignorant, it is dangerous. If more incidents such as this (and I mean the email response by the student, not the attack) occur, it could very well be that Trinity needs a wall, not only to protect its students who will be so bitterly hated by a community Trinity has shunned for years, but also to protect those very people Trinity students hate.
My thoughts, as well I’m sure as all the thoughts of the 4Legs community, go out to last night’s assault victim. I wish you a speedy recovery free of fear of your community.