Higher Ed Leaders Support Stronger Hate Crimes Bill

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Goshen College President Rebecca Stoltzfus joined 15 other leaders from Indiana colleges and universities in signing a letter seeking stronger language in Indiana hate crimes legislation. Representatives from Butler University, DePauw University, the University of Notre Dame and Rose-Hulman also signed the letter in support, among others.

The legislation was recently amended and stripped of language that would “enhance penalties against criminals who harmed others based on their disability, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.”

“Passing SB 12 as it stands today — without explicitly listing specific classes — will bring more harm to our state and further perpetuate the negative perception of Indiana,” the letter reads. “It will push out more of our students and detract more talent from coming in.”

Goshen College, Hanover College, Indiana Tech, Manchester University, Marian University, Martin University, Saint Mary’s College, Trine University, University of Indianapolis, Wabash College , Earlham College and Franklin College also signed the letter.

“As a college president in the great state of Indiana and as a person of faith, I have supported strong hate crime legislation and joined other college presidents and community leaders who called for such action,” President Stoltzfus said in a news release. “Goshen College students went to significant effort to testify to the Senate committee on this. We were deeply disappointed with the bill recently passed that lacked the policy teeth it needs to be a real bias crimes law.”

Indiana is one of five states without hate crimes laws. To read the full letter, click here.

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