Although there may not be a clear line, the racial slurs written on a hallway whiteboard of Hitchcock House clearly crossed it.
The language posted in Hitchcock House was purely destructive and warranted punishment. Anything less than expulsion from housing would have implied that such behavior is acceptable within the housing community. The students involved in this act do not belong in the housing community, which is intended to be safe, hospitable, and open for all students.
Within the context of the current discussion on campus, there is no excuse for the use of hate speech. While the students in question may complain that their punishment was unusually harsh due to recent events on campus, many hoped that discussions that followed those events would raise awareness on campus and stop the use of hate speech. Unfortunately, this message was lost on the students in question.
The Universitys housing policy respects students enough to trust them to make the right decisions. The Maroon takes comfort in that fact. It is never acceptable for students to violate that trust. Such abuse can lead to heavier policing of behavior and speech in the housing system. If members of the campus community continue to believe their actions do not have larger consequences theyre deeply mistaken.