Hate incidents at Oberlin College caused all classes to be canceled on Monday. A “Day of Solidarity” was held in lieu of academic courses. The latest in a series of disturbing occurrences occurred early Monday morning, prompting the decision for an emergency closure of the Ohio college.
An individual wearing a hood and a robe showed up near Oberlin College’s Afrikan Heritage House, sparking fear on the campus. Hate incidents began last month and included vandalism on the campus, the New York Times notes.
Both security officers and local law enforcement agents are currently investigating the Oberlin College hate incidents. A statement about the class cancellations from Oberlin College President Marvin Krislov reads:
“The sighting of the person on Monday, in addition to the series of other hate-related incidents on campus, has precipitated out decision to suspend formal classes and all non-essential activities for today and gather for a series of discussions on the challenging issues that have faced our community in recent weeks.”
In February, multiple anti-gay and racist message were found around the Ohio college campus. The Oberlin College hate incidents reportedly fly in sharp contrast with the traditional “liberal political leanings” of the school.
College spokesman Scott Vargo had this to say about the hate crimes on campus:
“I’m not sure why anyone is doing it, but those actions have made people uneasy and say we need to come together to discuss this.”
Vargo also noted that the sighting of a person in a hooded costume was reported by a student, according to CBS News. The description of the costume the person was allegedly wearing sounds a lot like a KKK outfit. The report given to the school claimed the person seen near the Afrikan Heritage House was adorned in a white hood and a white robe.
The college town is located approximately 30 miles southwest of Cleveland. The school has a student body of about 2,800 students. A guide to colleges publication typically cites Oberlin as one of the most “gay-friendly” and activist fueled campuses in America.
Oberlin College is regarded as one of the first universities in the United States to teach both men and women together. The school was founded in 1833. The northern Ohio campus was reportedly a significant stop on the underground railroad before the start of the Civil War. Abolitionists reportedly congregated in the area to help runaway slaves escape to freedom in Canada.
What do you think about the Oberlin College hate incidents?