Oberlin College has cancelled classes for the day in the wake of “a report of a person wearing a hood and robe resembling a KKK outfit” walking around campus. But the cancellation isn’t a public-safety lockdown.
The KKK sighting, which is still under investigation, is the latest in a string of bias incidents on campus. On five separate occasions in February, graffiti bearing swastikas and racial and homophobic slurs were left at various campus locations, often defacing multicultural offices or event posters. On February 17, a student reported that he was robbed and knocked to the ground on campus by an assailant “who made a derogatory remark about his perceived ethnicity.”
In response to this string of incidents, the Oberlin administration has suspended “formal classes and all non-essential activities” for the day, and will be holding “a series of discussions of the challenging issues that have faced our community.”
Today’s events will include a noon teach-in by the Afrikana Studies department, a 2 pm “demonstration of solidarity,” and a 3 pm community convocation.
Tuesday Update | As many as a thousand students — one third of Oberlin’s enrolled student body — attended yesterday’s solidarity demonstration in opposition to the hate crimes of the last month, which culminated in a march through the city of Oberlin. Some five hundred students attended the earlier teach-in and planning session at the Afrikana Studies department.
Oberlin was one of the first racially integrated and co-educational colleges in the United States. It has admitted black students since 1835 and women since 1837.