ATHENS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio University continues to investigate four potentially racially motivated incidents in student residence halls over the past week.
The university is “deeply concerned” about the “detrimental impact” that the four incidents, three of which occurred last weekend and the fourth on Wednesday, may have on communities of color, according to a news release Thursday from the Ohio University Police Department.
The events also prompted the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students at Ohio University to hold a protest Thursday afternoon, where demonstrators marched from Peden Stadium to Cutler Hall, according to a social media post from the student organization.
In the first incident, police said a Black doll was taped to the door of a student’s dorm room. Although a photo of the doll was shared on social media, police said no report was filed. They encouraged the victim to contact them so they can investigate.
OUPD’s criminal investigations unit is reviewing video and trying to identify witnesses in a second incident, where racial and misogynistic epithets were plastered on a trash bag left outside a student’s room in Sargent Hall.
A third police report was filed about an incident that occurred early Monday, when a male student reportedly urinated on a Black resident adviser’s door in James Hall.
Although police said they cited the male suspect, also a resident of James Hall, with criminal mischief for damaging the resident adviser’s property, they were unable to establish a motive or any evidence that the victim was specifically targeted.
On Wednesday, the same resident adviser received an anonymous social media message alleging that someone posted on Snapchat claiming that an unknown person wanted to see the resident adviser lynched, police said.
University police said they met with the resident adviser to gather more information and continue to investigate the social media posts.
Ohio University President Dr. Hugh Sherman said in a news release that university staff met with students in Sargent and James halls to share information about the incidents and provided students the option to relocate to a different residence hall.
“Our community will not tolerate a culture that threatens, physically or emotionally, any group or individual on our campus,” Sherman said. “These types of incidents set us back from our educational mission and our efforts to build and support a diverse University community.”
Police ask anyone with information to contact 740-593-1911 or firstname.lastname@example.org.