Student Leaving Hindu-Sponsored Dance at Harvard Reports Racial Slurs

April 18, 2006

Source: The Harvard Crimson

On April 18, 2006 The Harvard Crimson reported, "In an incident that has sparked concern among Hindu students on campus, a Harvard undergraduate said she was grabbed by the shoulders and called racial slurs late Saturday night after leaving a dance sponsored by Dharma, Harvard’s Hindu Students Association.

In an interview last night, the student said she left the dance�held in Lowell House dining hall�at 1:15 a.m. with two female friends and was met outside Lowell’s front gate by one female and three or four white males who 'were screaming racial slurs.'

The student said she then addressed the group, at which point one male grabbed her shoulders and pulled her in the opposite direction from the group. She said the assailant then pointed to one of the other males in his group and said, 'That guy over there said he wants to slaughter your people.'

The student, who spoke under condition of anonymity because she said she was concerned for her safety, also said the group mocked Native Americans, saying words like 'feathers' and 'Injuns.' At one point, one male told her, 'We just wanted to poke fun at the PC nature of Harvard.'

The student said the group was dressed in 'preppy' clothes, and appeared between 18 and 20 years of age. She said she did not know whether they were Harvard students.

The student said she filed reports with Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) and Lowell House officials yesterday. HUPD did not return requests for comment yesterday.

Diana L. Eck, Lowell House Master, said that she had heard of the incident after the dance from the student’s resident dean.

'I checked in on the event as it was closing down, and everyone had a fabulous time,' she said. 'I haven’t heard much beyond the first initial communication. But if [the incident] did happen, it’s very, very serious.'"