A few days ago I arrived at my office in the morning and was greeted with an unpleasant surprise…someone had scratched a cross into the bulletin board just outside my office door.
While I’m able to cover the image with a strategically placed advising schedule, I’m haunted by a terribly icky feeling in the pit of my stomach. Was someone trying to send me a message? Why a cross? Why my board and not the boards of my male colleagues along the corridor?
I’m not offended by images of crosses in general, but it is not something that I want outside my office door. I don’t think it’s appropriate for a faculty member at a state-sponsored institution to appear to endorse a particular region on state property. I am even more troubled because we’ve already had anti-semitic and anti-African-American incidents on campus.
But I am afraid that if I raise the issue with my chair or others in the administration, that this will be dismissed as trivial. Maybe it should be? But would the reaction be different if a student had vandalized “Fuck you” or some other swear word? Should I ask for a new bulletin board or just cover up the cross for the next 30 years?