Recently, 20 members of a disbanded franternity at Bucknell university attacked and harassed the residents of Fran’s House, Bucknell’s LGBTQ+ house, while campus safety officials did nothing or next to nothing to help. These students were minding their own business in their own home, which the university had provided for them after the building’s previous residents, the same disbanded fraternity, had lost the house for, among other things, the ugliness of their hazing rituals. The students made a statement, which we have printed in full below, along with a news-article. We stand with LGBTQ+ community of Bucknell and wish to offer our website, our podcast, and any other resource we have at our disposal, to any student who feels under attack just because of who they are. Please reach out to us and let us know how we can amplify your voice.
Statement from Tyler Luong Bucknell Student and resident assistant at Fran’s House:
I hope that by the time you’re reading this email, you’re already aware of what has happened on the night of reading day.
While others were drinking and having fun under the sunset, the residents of Fran’s House were locking our windows and securing our doors from nearly 20 former Tau Kappa Epsilon members from breaking into our home.
As the residential advisor of the affinity house and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I want you to imagine what it felt like to be studying one minute, and then locking down all possible entrances the next. Can you possibly imagine being the authoritative figure of a home, only to see the words: “Nobody come in or out right now. Don’t open any doors. Lock Windows”, staring right back at you? Because that was my reality.
All of my residents were shouting for me to come to the bathroom, and when I arrived, I saw one of my residents holding down the window, while a bunch of silhouettes stood menacingly on the other side. Can you possibly imagine seeing the fear that was in the eyes of my residents? Because it wasn’t imagination for me. I saw it In the eyes of my residents and in the reflection of my own eyes in the bathroom mirror.
“Let us in!”, “This isn’t your home!”, “This is our home!”.
Those were the words that my residents heard, as the nearly 20 former Tau Kappa Epsilon members banged against our windows and doors, swinging a metal bar at our flag pole that displays our pride flag, and urinating on our front porch. They FLASHED one of my residents. Tell me President Bravman, what would I do if they had managed to get into our home? President Bravman, I was never trained to handle breaking and enterings.
The only thing we could’ve possibly done was sit in anger and fear, as we waited way too long for Public Safety Emergency to arrive.
And when the group of 20 walked away, shouting at us the entire time, I stood there on the front lawn, watching and hoping that they don’t turn back. President Bravman, I didn’t want to stand there. I wanted to stay inside and lock myself in my room. However, as the Residential Advisor, I chose to show my residents that I will protect them no matter what. With my legs shaking with adrenaline, I stood there ready to lay my physical safety to protect my residents. I was so relieved to see all of them walking away.
And then they turned back.
4 of those nearly 20 men turned back. Can you imagine the feeling of relief when you see your offenders walking away from your home, only for it to drain immediately when they turn back?
I informed Public Safety again and they DID NOT arrive in a timely manner. President Bravman, three of my female residents and one male resident stood behind me on that lawn ready to defend our home. How could I as a Residential Advisor ask of them to do that? How could I have stopped them?
When Public Safety arrived, they laughed at the situation. President Bravman, the officers bonded with our offenders, reminiscing their college days and calling them handsome young men. President Bravman, the two officers didn’t even speak to me. Neither of the two officers came up to us Fran’s House residents to ask if we were okay. AND THEN THEY PROMISED TO TALK TO THE CHIEF OF PUBLIC SAFETY TO GET THEM ACCESS TO OUR HOUSE WHEN FINALS WEEK WAS OVER, SHAKING EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEIR HANDS.
President Bravman, the officer offered them their business card. I had to ask TWICE to get one because the officer was too busy laughing with our offenders. Is it within the policy for Public Safety to completely ignore the ones who reported the crime?
As a student, how can I call them Public Safety when they arrived late to the scene, and then ENABLED that behavior?! Why am I required to call Public Safety during emergencies if they make light of an emergency? President Bravman, there was no safety.
When we chant “Ray Bucknell”, are we chanting for public nudity? Are we chanting for public urination? Are we chanting for breaking and entering? Do we chant for 20 inebriated former fraternity members to harass the LGBTQ+ community in their own home? Because that’s not what I signed up for when I accepted my spot at Bucknell, and I don’t think that’s what future Bucknellians will be chanting for either.
And as I sit here right now, at 1:23 AM, with my entire night of reading day used up to calling Public Safety, Residential Education, writing a report, and calming down my residents while hiding my anger, I still have to convince myself that my final exam on Friday should be a priority over my safety.
I have to go to sleep now, knowing that those seniors defiled my home, flashed my friend, and will graduate without learning anything from this. One of them looked into our eyes and told us they didn’t know they were harassing the LGBTQ+ house when multiple residents saw them swinging a metal bar at our Pride Flag Pole. Is the school going to allow them to graduate and let them represent what Bucknell stands for?
President Bravman, this isn’t your typical incident on campus. One simple campus-wide email won’t bring back the sense of safety that was stripped away from Fran’s House. I beg of you, please imagine what it was like for me to be in this situation. To put up a mask and encourage my residents not to engage with our offenders when I myself was ready to risk my safety for my friends.