One Response to Racial Threats

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A racial incident at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio has prompted the college president to sleep in a student dormitory. According to the Associated Press:

Graffiti [at Hocking] had warned that black students would die Tuesday, as the school president sought to reassure students by camping out in the dorm where the threat was scrawled.

The message led at least two black students to withdraw from school and caused others to move out of the dorm where it was found more than a week ago. Campus police and the FBI have been investigating but haven’t identified who was responsible for the threat, written on the wall of a men’s bathroom.

President Ron Erickson and his wife moved into the Hocking Heights dorm, where the threat was discovered, over the weekend and remained there Tuesday, school spokeswoman Judy Sinnott said.

Hocking plans to host a “We Are One Hocking” diversity campaign at 7 p.m. this evening. The evening’s event will include the dedication of a peace monument and a candlelight service. Hocking College, a two-year technical school in southeastern Ohio, has about 5,200 students, 92 percent of them white.

Hocking reports that the president’s sleepover, intended to reassure students, has been going well. Erickson and his wife were “just hanging out with everybody.” They also watched movies with students, including “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.”

A message on the school’s Web site indicates that Hocking has also promised a $3,000 reward for anyone who can provide information about the graffiti (referred to as “the recent campus crimes”) that leads to an arrest.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer