Dean of Harvard College Evelynn Hammonds announced on Monday that 36 books related to gay and lesbian studies were damaged by accident, not vandalism, as earlier reported.

The books, which deal with topics such as gay marriage, were reportedly damaged with urine in the school's Lamont Library on November 24.

The Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) initially said it was investigating the incident as a hate crime.

“The HUPD has zero tolerance for any bias-related incidents or crimes,” HUPD spokesman Steven G. Catalano told the university's paper, The Crimson.

Hammonds also wrote to the paper decrying the incident: “Harvard College will not tolerate acts of vandalism, especially that appear to be motivated by hate or bias. [As] a community, we will continue to affirm our shared values of dignity and respect for everyone in our community.”

In a statement released on Monday, the dean said the incident was merely an accident.

“This incident was initially reported as vandalism and characterized as a hate-crime because of the focused nature and related topics of the damaged books,” she said. “HUPD has continued to investigate this incident since the initial report and we have learned this morning that the books, while indeed damaged, were damaged by our own library personnel accidentally spilling a bottle of what was reported to be urine that had been left on the shelf.”

Hammonds announced that university police were no longer classifying the incident as a hate crime and that the library was in the process of replacing the books.

Gay activists on campus, however, still have unanswered questions.

“Why was there a bottle of urine on the shelf? Why did it take two weeks for [the] library or HUPD to figure out that this was just an accident? Did someone suddenly come forward?” Marco Chan, the co-chair of Harvard College Queer Students and Allies, told the student-run paper.