The Harvard University Police Department is investigating a racist attack levied against Harvard Undergraduate Council President Michael Y. Cheng ’22 earlier this month.
After two signs calling Cheng a racist anti-Asian slur and bearing the phrase “SAVE THE UC” were discovered on Cheng’s door in Quincy House earlier this month, HUPD spokesperson Steven G. Catalano confirmed the department is investigating the incident as a “bias-related suspicious act.”
Following the incident, Quincy Faculty Deans Eric Beerbohm and Leslie J. Duhaylongsod deplored the flyers and offered their support to Cheng in an email to House residents.
“We want to say in the strongest possible terms that this is absolutely unacceptable; none of these actions is consistent with Quincy’s focus on a safe, respectful, and inclusive community,” they wrote.
In their email, the Quincy faculty deans also solicited information about the incident.
Beerbohm and Duhaylongsod did not respond to an inquiry about the HUPD investigation.
Support for Cheng poured in following the attack. The Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Women’s Association released a statement, co-signed by 24 student groups, rebuking the “act of direct racism” and demanding stronger support for students of color at Harvard.
The UC also drafted a statement of solidarity, which was then rejected by Cheng, who called the move hypocritical and reiterated his belief that the perpetrator was a UC member.
“The person or people that are responsible for yesterday’s hateful attack, as well as the multiple kinds of other attacks targeting me, are potentially in this room right now,” he said at a UC meeting.
Cheng was elected UC president in November following a contentious campaign in which promised to “defund” the body and rewrite its constitution. His administration has been at odds with some general UC members since the election.
—Staff writer J. Sellers Hill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.