Albion College president talks about gay flag burning

Wed. November 10, 2010 1:34 PM by News Staff

Albion, Mich. - Two students at Albion (Mich.) College set fire to a gay pride flag on campus, an incident that has led calls for alumni to stop donations.

Three students found the flag in a trash can on Oct. 18. Two lit it on fire. The third, freshman Salaina Catalano, had a crisis of conscience and admitted her role to campus security.

"I'm sorry and I'm using this to make up for the fact I didn't stand up then. The college is trying to keep it a secret in a way and I'm trying to do what I know to help anyone who needs it," Catalano told Mlive. "They told me not to talk about it."

Catalano said that neither she nor the other students involved were punished.

"I want to make it very clear that the College condemns harassment of any member of our College community," said Albion College President Donna Randall in a statement. "I personally find such behavior reprehensible and offensive. I feel confident that those involved will not participate in such acts in the future. We remain fully committed to protecting the rights of all members of the campus community and sustaining a campus environment that is welcoming to all persons."

However, some students questioned whether Randall was indeed committed to protecting all students, given that the perpetrators were walking around unpunished. An online petition calls for alumni to stop donating to the school until the situation is addressed.