June 27, 2019 | 84° F

Rutgers spreads love and Bingo in light of anti-Muslim flyer

Photo by Rutgers.edu |

In an email from Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Felicia McGinty, members of the Rutgers community received an image of a Bingo board that encourages kind acts and support for others. 

After images of a game that awards players points for violent acts against Muslim people surfaced earlier this week, the Rutgers community has decided to take a different approach. 

Love A Scarlet Knight is a run-of-the-mill bingo board, with a 5 by 3 block layout and no free spot. But instead of filling each square with a letter, number or even Harry Potter character, members of the University have chosen to award a spot for acts of kindness. 

The game’s instructions read, "In the midst of this fractious time in our nation, many outside groups have seen this period as an opportunity to spark hate and discord among the diverse and inclusive communities at universities, including here at Rutgers—New Brunswick. In response, we are calling for all members of our community to come together to reject hateful ideology and show love, compassion and kindness to one another. To help facilitate these acts, we have created a 'BINGO' sheet, to serve as a prompt to showing love and support for your fellow Scarlet Knights,” according to an email from Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Felicia McGinty. 

An image of the game board accompanied McGinty's email. 

Saying “thank you” to a Rutgers bus driver, giving a stranger a compliment or writing a positive note to a friend are simple ways to earn a spot. The aforementioned free space is replaced with a call to action — asking that players think of their own way to love a Scarlet Knight. 

“... I want you to remind all members of our community that they are supported, and valued. Our diversity is what makes us unique, and it helps to foster a learning community where differences are embraced, and ideas are challenged with civility and respect,” McGinty said in the email. 

The campaign is in direct response to a message sent by University Chancellor Debasish Dutta last Friday, March 30 and will run until Friday, April 6. 

The Daily Targum reported on the flyer earlier this week. In his initial response, Dutta said that it was first brought to his attention from images that have been circulating online which promote harassment and violence against Muslims on the designated day April 3.

“I ask all of us to reject this hateful ideology and take this message as a call for us to show love, compassion and kindness in our community. I ask you to stand with me and affirm that you’ll be vigilant in building an inclusive and welcoming community here at Rutgers,” Dutta said.

Christian Zapata

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