In his Friday statement on the noose incident at the University of California San Diego, UC President Mark Yudof said that “a student has come forward and claimed she and two others were responsible.”
But in a press conference that afternoon UC San Diego Chancellor Marye Anne Fox refused to comment on the other students involved, and as of today it appears that only the student who came forward voluntarily has been suspended.
Campus and police investigations of the incident are apparently continuing, but with the UCSD Black Student Union calling for the campus to be closed because of safety concerns, it is startling that so little has been made known about these alleged accomplices. Have they been identified? Have they been questioned? Are they still on campus? Will they be attending classes tomorrow?
It’s not surprising that the university is keeping quiet about the details of an ongoing investigation, particularly in its early stages, but administrators will soon face strong pressure to be more forthcoming.
Update | Students engaged in peaceful, nonviolent protests at campuses across the University of California system have faced serious criminal and disciplinary consequences for their actions in the last six months. More such protests — and more such arrests and disciplinary actions — are likely coming this week.
In this time of crisis, the university needs to demonstrate that all students caught up in its disciplinary machinery will receive fair and appropriate treatment.
Monday update | The UCSD student newspaper has run a statement that it claims was written by the student who hung the noose in the library. In it, the student claims that a friend of hers made the noose from a piece of discarded rope “without thinking of any of its connotations or the current racial climate at UCSD,” and that she hung it at the desk unthinkingly days before it was discovered. “As a minority student who sympathizes with the students that have been affected by recent issues on campus,” she writes, “I am distraught to know that I have unintentionally added to their pain.”