Gay Students Assaulted in Anti-Gay Hate Crime at Vanderbilt

Two gay men were attacked at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee on September 9th by an undergraduate and a non-student guest. While at a Quiznos restaurant on campus, their outward displays of affection drew verbal harassment followed by a physical assault, InsideVandy reports:

Vanderbilt“When the couple left Towers West they were accosted by the two suspects in what ‘appeared to be a premeditated, unprovoked attack,’ said Dean of Students Mark Bandas. The police report narrative does not mention the anti-gay language used in Quiznos, but it does indicate suspicion of a hate crime. Surveillance images, which will not be released by the university in order to protect the victims, captured the entire attack and led to the identification of the undergraduate suspect. According to the VUPD report, ‘The suspects began to strike (the graduate) in the head with their fists. The suspects struck (him) four or five times.’ The victim suffered minor swelling to the left cheek and lip, according to the report. The attack, an ‘isolated and anomalous incident,’ was ‘beyond disappointing,’ Bandas said. ‘Vanderbilt has no tolerance for intolerance,’ he said. ‘An assault like this one is an attack on the fundamental norms and values that constitute our community.'”

Vanderbilt Student Government President Cara Bilotta made note of the attack as University officials expressed dismay over the lack of GLBT visibility on campus: “GLBT issues have been ‘hush-hush,’ but they need to be out in the open if we are going to increase acceptance and increase tolerance. I had hoped our collaboration would be more proactive, but because of this incident, we have been forced to be reactionary.”

According to InsideVandy, the victim of the assault has pressed charges and the student attacker will face university disciplinary charges that will not be made public. The non-student attacker may have fled the state.

Students attacked in alleged anti-gay hate crime [inside vandy]
University responds to alleged hate crime [inside vandy]


  1. Bob R says

    The attacker, at the very least, should be permanently expelled from the university. I also hope he is forced to suffer financially in civil court.

    Perhaps it’s is time LGBT citizens start taking self-defense training and consider obtaining concealed carry permits? These attacks appear to be becoming much more frequent and something has to be done. I’m at a loss for answers.

  2. Rafael says

    Jason – Vanderbilt or else I expect respect, if you go through life expecting nothing well there goes your luck…

    PS: I’m also considering fire-arm training.

  3. says

    I attended Vanderbilt and loved my experience. After hearing of this news, I spoke with the Chancellor of Vanderbilt, who is a personal friend and he assured me that the school is terriblly upset by this and is taking extreme action to do their best for this never to happen again.

    The truth is, ignorance is everywhere, Jason, and it only takes one bad seed for something like this to happen. Considering Vanderbilt is an SEC school, its competitors being Ole Miss, Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee and Georgia – I actually think it is surprising that Vanderbilt was where this happened.

  4. Zeke says

    Watch out there DAN B, I’m an Ole Miss graduate.

    My mother was a Vanderbilt graduate. I’m not surprised that this happened at Vanderbilt at all.

    Just a year or two ago Vanderbilt was ranked as one of the most gay unfriendly colleges in America.

  5. says

    It seems more like the defensive line at Ole Miss should have been watching out, Zeke! 😉

    Vanderbilt is a much different place than when your mother attended. The University was very quick to adopt domestic partnership benefits for employees.

    Much of the ranking of unfriendliness to gays came from when a gay student got much press for running for homecoming queen instead of king. He stated that one couldn’t become king unless they were straight, white, protestant and a fraternity member. I happen to know one openly gay independent homecoming king at Vanderbilt who would disagree.

  6. VI agara says

    Why don’t you hardly ever read that the bashed fought back? It was two against two, seems like they should have got thier licks in too. Until we start fighting back and putting bashers in the hospital, its not going to end.

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