Harvard Take The Piss

36 gay and lesbian books have been founded soaked in urine in Harvard’s library, sparking anger and confusion.

dean Emma Wang Harvard University LBGT The Crimson trinity hall

Harvard University is facing a volley of awkward questions after books on gay issues were found soaked in urine in its Library last month.

In total, thirty-six books were found to be damaged by urine, and the books themselves were collectively worth thousands of pounds.

The books dealt with gay and lesbian issues such as same-sex marriage.

Due to the nature of the incident it was first investigated by Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) as a hate crime.

However, College Dean Evelynn Hammonds has now astonishingly claimed that it was in fact accidental damage.

Hammonds claims library staff accidentally spilled a vial of urine that was on the shelf onto the volumes, adding that this “also explains why [they] did not immediately report the incident”.

The statement has not gone down well with many. Harvard College Queer Students and Allies (QSA) Co-Chair Marco Chan was just one of the people left confused by Hammond’s explanation.

In a statement to the Harvard student paper, The Crimson, Chan demanded more information, saying, “Why was there a bottle of urine on the shelf? Why did it take two weeks for library or HUPD to figure out that this was just an accident? Did someone suddenly come forward?”

Harvard have promised to replace the 36 books ruined by the accident, but many say this is not enough.

Emma Wang, who Co-Chairs QSA with Chan, argues that the impact the LGBT community has suffered from these events should still be considered even if the trashed books aren’t being treated as a hate crime anymore.

This is the third reported incident of homophobia to hit Harvard this term. Earlier this year a student was assaulted by a man shouting homophobic abuse, and anti-gay graffiti was also discovered in one of the graduate dorms.

Across the pond, Cambridge college Trinity Hall was also caught up in allegations of homophobia earlier this year.

NUS LGBT Officer Vicki Baars told The Tab that incidents such as these highlight the struggle that LGBT people face everyday.

“This is a prime example of the real issues that we as LGBTQ people face and a reason why we continue to educate others and campaign.”