Oberlin College — arguably the single most leftist, progressive, touchy-feely campus in the United States — canceled all classes on Monday in response to a month-long series of apparent hate-related incidents that has recently bedeviled the campus, reports WJW, the FOX affiliate in Cleveland.
The most recent incident allegedly happened sometime around 1:30 a.m. on Monday morning near the school’s African Heritage House.
“Early this morning, there was a report of a person wearing a hood and robe resembling a KKK outfit between South and the Edmonia Lewis Center and in the vicinity of Afrikan Heritage House [sic],” wrote Oberlin’s president, Marvin Krislov, in a letter also signed by no less than three deans.
“As I was driving in my car, I saw, what seemed to be someone in KKK paraphernalia walking around,” Sunceray Tavler, a student who reported the sighting, told WJW.
The incident follows a spat of racist, anti-Jewish and antigay graffiti found on campus in recent weeks. Ugly slurs showed up on Black History Month posters, reports the Oberlin Review. Graffiti bearing the message “Whites Only” appeared above a water fountain. “Nigger Oven” was scrawled inside an elevator. Someone found a note found a note in the Multicultural Resource Center saying “Nigger + Faggot Center.” Drawings of swastikas materialized.
School officials billed Monday as a “day of solidarity,” according to The Times. The administration encouraged students to attend a series of campus-wide discussions instead of classes.
The 1,200-seat campus chapel was brimming with a sea of fresh, earnest, mostly white faces when President Krislov spoke.
“From what we have seen we believe these actions are the work of a very small number of cowardly people,” he said, according to The New York Times. Krislov also apologized to any students who have felt threatened.
“I was pretty shocked it would happen here,” freshman Sarah Kahl told the newspaper of record. “It’s a little scary.” The 19-year-old from Boston added that the spat of incidents seems menacing. “That’s why this day is so important, so urgent.”
“Many of our students feel very frightened, very insecure,” added Meredith Gadsby, who chairs the Afrikana Studies department.