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Stanford University launched an investigation after a noose was found hanging from a tree outside a residence hall this week on Sunday evening.
The Stanford University Department of Public Safety sent out an email informing residents that campus authorities quickly removed the noose and “retained it as evidence.”
“We cannot state strongly enough that a noose is a reprehensible symbol of anti-Black racism and violence that will not be tolerated on our campus,” said Vice Provosts Susie Brubaker-Cole and Patrick Dunkley in a news release.
This incident is the third in just four years, the last of which occurred in November.
Standford is a predominately white institution, with 32.4% of its population consisting of Caucasian students. This is followed by the Asian population (18.1%), Hispanic (11.2%), and Latino (6.14%.). The Black population consists of just 4.19% Black or African American.
“When faced with despicable acts like this, each of us must decide whether we will have the courage to help to do all that we can to prevent actions like this from occurring at Stanford, and to support those who are the targets of such actions,” the statement added.
Campus police immediately launched a hate crimes investigation. They have begun interviewing maintenance staff, students and school staff.
In the state of California, hanging a noose is considered a hate crime and punishable by jail and a maximum $5,000 fine.
“We know this horrific discovery will shake our community and we have begun to develop an outreach plan to provide assistance to all who are in need, bearing in mind that this is not the first time this has occurred at Stanford in recent years,” the university said in a statement obtained by the News Observer.
The campus’ student affairs team has directed students affected by the incident to mental health resources.