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GAMIT Booth Struck with Ketchup, Mayo

By Daniel C. Stevenson
Editor in Chief

An unidentified person dropped a large cup of ketchup and mayonnaise on the Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transgenders, and Friends booth in Lobby 10 Friday afternoon, bruising one GAMIT staffer and splattering the floor.

The crime was initially filed with Campus Police as an assault, but might be reclassified as a hate crime, said GAMIT General Coordinator Teresa W. Lau '95. The attack "was motivated by bigotry against a certain group of people," she said.

The 32-ounce cup hit the leg of GAMIT Political Coordinator Joaquin S. Terrones '97 causing a bruise, and then splattered on the floor and GAMIT posters. When Terrones looked up to the second floor balcony "all I saw was a person wearing a white cap with purple and gold lettering that seemed to end in the letter epsilon," he said.

He could only make out the last letter on the cap because the person was turning away at the time, Terrones said.

The attacker had disappeared by the time Terrones took the elevator to the second floor to confront him. Terrones then called the CPs, who responded within 10 minutes, he said.

Action' planned for tomorrow

To protest the attack, GAMIT is planning an "action" tomorrow, Lau said. At noon in Lobby 10, GAMIT will let people throw ketchup at a dummy representing Friday's attacker. "The point of the action is to throw the ketchup back at this bigot," Lau said. GAMIT will also put up posters and distribute flyers about the incident, she said.

"Whoever walks by is encouraged to help us deliver the message to whoever it is that did it that this is not an acceptable thing to be happening at MIT," Lau said.

Although the cap Terrones saw implied fraternity involvement, the effigy will not be marked to identify any specific group, Lau said.

"I would certainly hope" that a fraternity was not involved in the incident, said Interfraternity Council Judicial Committee Chair Gregory J. Miliotes '96. "That would disappoint me quite a bit."

Miliotes confirmed that Sigma Alpha Epsilon uses the colors of purple and gold. No other fraternity with a name ending in epsilon uses those colors.

After talking with GAMIT officials, Miliotes said he would go ahead and pursue the matter through Judcomm.

"This is not the kind of activity that the IFC condones," Miliotes said. "We would try to promote better relations between GAMIT and ourselves and we would certainly prosecute to the fullest extent if we have any confirmation" of the person or group involved, he said.

MIT has seen "a long history of fraternity violence against queer people," Lau said. Discussions between GAMIT and the IFC last term helped open lines of communication, but "it doesn't seem like things have changed," she said.

"I'm kind of disappointed that after the effort GAMIT put into establishing good relations with fraternities through the IFC that the same kind of incident that we were trying to avoid still occur," Terrones said.

"We've definitely tried to make efforts to make sure that the people of IFC and the people of GAMIT are on better terms," Miliotes said.

Lau said she has been in contact with IFC officers about the attack.

"For an incident like this to happen is not surprising but kind of frustrating and discouraging," she said.

The attack came at the end of last week's Bisexual, Gay, and Lesbian Awareness Days, which GAMIT had been celebrating with the Lobby 10 booth and activities throughout the week.