NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP/WTNH) - Central Connecticut State University held an anti-hate rally after messages targeting two students because of their sexual orientation were posted in a dormitory last week.
The gathering started at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Student Circle Center. The New Britain school will also host forums and other events in the coming weeks in response to the incidents.
University officials say threatening, hateful and derogatory messages were posted on the dorm room door of two female students. Campus police are looking for suspects, and Central has submitted a bias crime report to state police. (Read the full story here)
School officials say the two students are being offered counseling.
However, one of the victim's, Lexi Pennel, says she is not going to be scared off.
"I am not going to be run out of my dorm," Pennell said. "We are very adamant about staying and we plan to do so."
Pennell stood among hundreds of students, athletes, parents, friends and complete strangers who came out to support her and her girlfriend.
"We received a couple of notes with derogatory notes on them that were directed toward our sexual orientation," Pennell said, "a couple of threats."
While Pennell can't say exactly what was in the notes, as it is under investigation, she did say it's a good feeling to see all of the support.
"I am very proud to say that I go to Central," Pennell said. "I am very proud of our community."
"The two girls are friends of mine and when I first heard about it I was quite enraged," said Victoria Troche. "Why would some one do that? Ignorance like that really sets me off."
At the "Educate Over Hate" rally, other women came forward telling stories of threatening notes found under their doors.
"I don't like that when I walk into the dining hall that I don't feel safe," one woman said, "and that when I sit down I think my attacker is somewhere near me, waiting for me to leave so they can follow me back to my home to terrorize us."
The State Police Hate Crimes Unit has been brought in and they are working every angle to figure out who is responsible. If you have any information you are asked to call State Police or campus police.
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