They were still in their pajamas, still standing in their fungus-fighting flip-flops, when the girls of Bornhuetter Hall first noticed the words scrawled outside their doors.
Slut, Fuck the hippie bullshit, Vote Goldwater, and other slurs were emblazoned on the walls and doors of the College of Wooster’s brand-new dormitory. Two roommates—one Jewish, one black—woke to find a swastika and I hate minorities written in dry-erase marker on their message board.
A week later, a forum was held. Students stood up and spoke and cried, telling Hales that they were pissed and they were scared. What is becoming of Wooster? they demanded.
Really, they knew. Many already had drawn suspect sketches in their heads—images of jocks in letter jackets and Abercrombie cargos. Guys who came to Wooster because of their nasty curveball or their 40-yard-dash time.
“A typical white male,” freshman Kamilla Fellah remembers thinking. “Those bastards.”
As the semester wore on, the culprits remained unknown. But on December 16, in the middle of finals week, they broke their silence with a school-wide e-mail of their own: They were prepared to reveal their identities at yet another forum. They scheduled it for 8 p.m. that night.
With exams looming, 300 students and professors filed into the student union, eager to glimpse their enemy. And just as they had expected, that enemy was the . . . treehuggers?
“We are, to some, your campus ‘hippie’ community,” said Megan Mitchell, a senior philosophy and black-studies double-major. She introduced her five fellow thugs to the crowd: men and women, gay and straight, women’s studies and philosophy majors. One of them was Jewish. They were all sorry.
“A lot of people assumed it was that straight white male stereotype . . . and they wanted to get them off their campus,” says Sarah Core, who covered the story for the Voice. “Finding out that it was students who are normally supposed to be sensitive to issues such as these was a big shock.”