ATHENS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio University students are speaking out about four potentially racially motivated incidents that occurred in campus residence halls over the past week.
After a student-led anti-racism protest held on Ohio University’s campus Thursday, students said they believe they got the university’s attention — but are still waiting for action.
Christopher Brown, a junior at Ohio University who said he was one of the Black students impacted by the incidents on campus, said he’s demanding more from his school.
“Just to be heard and respected because every time something happens, no consequences are ever dealt,” he said. “It’s just, they send out an email or make a post saying they stand with us, which they don’t.”
Ohio University Police Department said it is investigating the four incidents, including a trash bag plastered with racial and misogynistic epithets left outside a Black student’s dorm room and allegations that a student urinated on the door of a Black resident advisor’s room.
Brown said he wants to hear from Ohio University’s president about what is being done to stop this.
“He eventually had to talk, and all he said was he didn’t want this to be like this for us — it wasn’t what was needed to be said,” Brown said about hearing from university president Dr. Hugh Sherman at Thursday’s rally.
In a letter released by Dr. Sherman Wednesday, he provided updates about the ongoing investigations and encouraged anyone with information to contact university police at 740-593-1911 or email@example.com.
“Our community will not tolerate a culture that threatens, physically or emotionally, any group or individual on our campus,” Dr. Sherman said. “These types of incidents set us back from our educational mission and our efforts to build and support a diverse University community.”
Carly Leatherwood, executive director of communications at Ohio University, said this is a pivotal time for the university, and its priority is making sure students feel safe.
“One of the incidents, the police department has charged someone with a crime, and that individual will also be going through our student conduct process here at the university,” said Leatherwood said.
Students said they would like to see accountability from the university.
Leatherwood said the university has to follow federal privacy laws in these cases, too.
“Very little we can say most of the time because we can’t divulge identifying information about a student, so I think and hope that people have faith in our processes and know that we’re doing the best that we can to take action and be effective.”
Students said there is a townhall scheduled for Monday, specifically to share the experiences of Black Bobcats at the university.
“Now we wait and see if anything happens,” Brown said.
The townhall is scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. Monday at Morton Hall 235.