On the morning of November 29th, the second hate crime of the semester was found in the second floor bathroom of Jeffrey. President Bowen, Deans Coker and Johnson, and Director of Public Safety David Heffer infomed the student body of the crime by email.
The most recent graffiti included direct threats against Black members of the Goucher community. Additionally, it contained anti-Latinx threats.
In another email sent to the student body during the afternoon of December 6th, the same members of administration noted, “the individual who was arrested for these incidents is no longer enrolled with the College, and will have no future relationship with the College. Further, the campus removal and ban referenced in last week’s update remain in effect indefinitely.” The email also noted that the College’s conduct procedure is “completely independent” from that of the criminal justice system.
One way in which the procedures differ is in their decision to disclose or withhold the name of the individual arrested. While Goucher’s conduct process does not allow the release of the names of students involved in such proceedings, the Baltimore County State’s Attorney does not follow this regulation. Fynn Ajani Arthur was named as the student “arrested and charged […]with two counts of Malicious Destruction of Property,” according to the Baltimore County Government website. In an update from December 4th, the website noted that “[a]fter consulting with the State’s Attorney’s Office for Baltimore County, four additional charges have been sought against Fynn Arthur in the form of a court issued summons,” including “[t]wo counts of bias instigated destruction of property” and “[t]wo counts of animosity instigated harassment/destruction of property.”
The report also mentions that the Office of Public Safety “partnered with agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Baltimore Field Office” to conduct the investigation, a partnership which Heffer had noted in a December 6th interview with The Quindecim.
Heffer also stated during the interview that the Office of Public Safety is “continuing to work with [their] colleagues in Student Affairs to offer support to the students who were specifically targeted.”
When asked about next steps from an enforcement perspective, Heffer said, “We are conducting an extensive survey of campus facilities to determine locations to install cameras in the residence halls.”
As mentioned in much of the outside coverage of this story, Arthur was a member of the Men’s Lacrosse Team. This is not the first time in recent years that members of this team have received attention for racially motivated behavior. The Quindecim reached out via email to Brian Kelly, head coach of the men’s lacrosse team to comment about the team’s reaction and next steps in relation to Arthur’s arrest and beyond. Kelly’s reply included the team’s official statement condemning Arthur’s actions (pictured).
When asked about how he is cultivating a team culture that actively combats hate, Kelly noted that “we are very clear with our student-athletes, coaches, and recruits about our values and the potential we have to positively affect the pursuit of the college community’s values. As a team, we engage in conversations and trainings pertaining to issues of race and identity.”
As a part of these conversations and trainings, Kelly mentioned that, “…as a team we viewed a documentary titled ‘The Medicine Game’ which provides context for the origin of the sport of lacrosse and how it was conceived as an instrumental part of Native American culture to keep sickness from the tribe. Also, it follows the struggles of a couple of brothers from the Onondaga Nation who dream to play collegiate lacrosse. We tried to view this video from the following perspective – The white man took Native American lands and now they have taken their ‘Medicine Game’ and made it their own.” Kelly mentioned several related discussion questions asking team members to empathize with the brothers in the documentary, while also asking student-athletes to consider if they themselves “honor the game in the same way these brothers honor the game? This is a discussion that is ongoing and will continue throughout the spring.”
Kelly also pointed to “recent, deliberate recruiting efforts” that are “actively committed to encouraging prospective student-athletes of color to join our program. We now have a significantly more diverse roster than was the case three to four years ago. We’re very proud or [sic] our successes to that end and believe that our team now has greater opportunities to learn from each other’s differences.” He concluded by saying, “[a]s a program, we ask that a player RISE UP each day to meet their daily challenges to make themselves better individuals in the classroom, in the community, and as teammates. Like all of us, we have much to learn, but we are proud of the progress we have made as a program and as individuals.”
As Heffer pointed out toward the end of his December 6th interview with The Quindecim, “…this is not the end, this is just a reminder that we need to continue to address racism and racist acts and now we know that we can do this together, as a community.”
The Quindecim will continue reporting both on the ongoing judicial processes related to Fynn Arthur’s arrest as well as the ways in which the Goucher community continues to address racism in the long term.