Several nooses were found at a tolerance rally at California State University, Fullerton, marking the latest incident in which the racially charged symbol was discovered on U.S. college campuses.
The nooses were found on Nov. 7 attached to a T-shirt display denouncing intolerance. In response, hundreds of students and faculty held an anti-hate protest this week.
School police said they are not investigating the incident as a crime but a “somewhat offensive” act.
“It’s a freedom of speech area, and it wasn’t directed toward any particular group,” said police Lt. Fred Molina. “But we want to find who’s doing this and why.”
Other nooses have appeared at several universities over the past year.
A makeshift noose made from the string of a sweatshirt hood was found this month in the Purdue University library. Earlier this year, a noose was placed on the office door of a black professor at Columbia University, and a noose was found in a tree at Indiana State University.
At Central Michigan University, four nooses were found in a classroom on Monday.
Sumanah Mithani, a Cal State Fullerton junior, said she was “extremely shocked” to find such a “hateful symbol” on campus.
“It was a smack in the face that something like this could happen in central Orange County,” Mithani said. “Incidents like this are not going to be tolerated anymore, and we’re going to speak out.”
School officials sent an e-mail to students and faculty denouncing the act.
“Fullerton takes very seriously any act of prejudice, uncivil behavior or hatred toward others in our community. We denounce the display of symbols that are used as an act of intimidation or fear,” wrote Robert L. Palmer, vice president of student affairs.
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