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Pennsylvania university condemns 'horrific' harassment of LGBTQ students

Officials at a Pennsylvania university condemned the “horrific” harassment of LGBTQ students at a residence on the school's campus and said the public safety response to the incident was "lacking in myriad ways."

Bucknell University officials said a group of male students harassed and intimidated the residents of Tower House, which is the Fran's House affinity residence and center of life for the school's LGBTQ community, and tried to enter the building themselves.

Tower House used to house Tau Kappa Epsilon, a fraternity that was banned from the university two years ago. 

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Bucknell in a statement Friday said the students violated the residents' “physical space” and “sense of place and security.”

"Further, it is equally clear that Bucknell Public Safety's response to the incident was lacking in myriad ways," the university said.

“We are gravely concerned about these potential violations of the Student Code of Conduct. In response, the University has retained an outside firm to conduct an immediate investigation of these actions and submit a full report to Bucknell administration as soon as possible,” Bucknell said in its statement. “Based on the findings of this external review, appropriate consequences for the students' behavior will be swiftly determined and implemented.” 

Bucknell also added that it will continue to hold conversations with Fran’s House affinity group students on their future housing needs and designate a new permanent home for them, according to the statement. 

“We cannot erase the ugliness and subsequent trauma of last night's transgression against the students of Fran's House and, implicitly, many others, but we can commit to addressing it in a way that protects LGBTQ Bucknellians and better ensures their safety in the future,” Bucknell said.