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Goshen College, Notre Dame among colleges pushing for hate crime laws

GOSHEN, Ind. -- Dozens of colleges across Indiana are joining the fight to create a hate crime law in the state, including Notre Dame and Goshen College.

A total of 24 college presidents have signed a letter calling for a hate crime law.

Goshen College President Rebecca Stoltzfus was among those who signed the letter.

She says the letter already has the governor’s support, especially following the anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed at a Synagogue in Carmel, Indiana last month.

Goshen College is one of 23 other Indiana universities that signed on to a letter calling for “strong hate crime legislation.”

Kristin Troyer is a senior at Goshen College and says she hopes the law will give those who don’t feel welcome a voice.

“President Stoltzfus signing this letter along with the other presidents will raise awareness for this issue because the fact that Indiana doesn’t have legisltation says a lot about the state,” said Troyer.

According to the letter, Indiana is currently 1 of 5 states without a hate crimes law, which students ABC 57 News spoke with find troubling.

“There’s more that can be done to reduce prejudice overall,” said Jose Chiquito, a junior at Goshen College. “This hate crime [law] is overdue, right? It was needed yesterday.”

Nonetheless, other students like Chiquito find the proposal as a step in the right direction.

“I think it’s a pretty good initiative and people definitely need to be aware of these kidns of stupid thigns happening in this country about hate crimes,” said Goshen College senior Karerkeya Sharma.

President Stoltzfus says she’s very pleased to be partnering up with so many institutions to bring about change.

“Passing a ‘hate crime’ bill is one very important way for the state of Indiana to express these values publicly,” said Stoltzfus. “Certainly, many things are needed to prevent hate crimes, and education is one of the most important ways to prevent hate crimes.”

You can tell students at Goshen College are glad their president is joining in the fight for the new laws.

“We’re very proud that our president was able to sign on to this because, again, it stands true and consistent to the values and goals that Goshen College and its student body wants to move toward,” said Chiquito.

Among those that signed the letter with Goshen College are DePauw University, Butler University, Saint Mary’s College, and the University of Notre Dame. You can find the full letter below.


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