ST. LOUIS — Students at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville have started to protest after they say a white student made racial slurs and death threats to a Black student on campus.
David Daniel, a senior and vice president of the Black Student Union on campus, said that a campus-wide email went out from the school administration earlier last week about a bias incident.
“They didn't really get too specific. Then later that day, pictures started circulating of what was said," Daniel said.
Pictures of sticky notes on a Black student's dorm room door and of a text message shared with 5 On Your Side show racial slurs and threats, including the N-word and "lynch."
In response to the acts, David organized a demonstration where students chanted and held up posters.
In one video, students can be seen facing the school’s chancellor and other staff.
Daniel said other students felt inclined to address similar experiences where they felt unheard.
5 On Your Side reached out to SIUE about the incident and staff said one student who had been accused had been cleared on Thursday.
Another remains a person of interest in the investigation.
"They say it's under investigation but I feel like she shouldn't be on campus period. Because you threatened to lynch students on this campus," David responded.
David and his peers hope their voices will set a precedent for accountability.
“Eventually you will see the Black population, or the Black students coming to SIU. It will closely dwindle down until we're not there," David added.
Students have planned another protest at noon Monday, from the Goshen Lounge to Rendleman Hall.
Here is a timeline of events and full statement from SIUE:
On Monday, Jan. 24, Jamie Ball, JD, director for Equal Opportunity, Access & Title IX Coordination shared the following with the campus community on behalf of SIUE’s Bias Incident Response Team.
On Sunday, January 23rd, 2022, the Bias Incident Response Team became aware of a situation in which students in Woodland Hall were targeted with racial slurs, threats, and hostility. Racist and hateful behavior on our campus is an offense to our entire community, particularly our communities of color. We will not tolerate such behavior and are committed to investigating the incident fully.
Our University Police officers have begun gathering information and members of our University Housing staff have offered support and helped to identify and address the immediate needs of the affected students. The Office of Equal Opportunity, Access, and Title IX Coordination will work with University Police to investigate this incident. Once the investigation is completed, anyone found to be involved in making these harmful statements will be held accountable.
If you have information about this incident, or if you have experienced or are impacted by any form of harassment or discrimination on our campus, we want to know so we can address these behaviors and work to create a more inclusive culture at SIUE. Please use the Bias Incident Report Form to communicate with the Bias Incident Response Team.
Per SIUE Police, as of Thursday, Jan. 27:
SIUE Police have cleared one student who was accused of this incident while the other remains a person of interest. This remains an active investigation and we are continuing to conduct interviews and review all available resources.
SIUE Police has increased foot patrols in Woodland Hall and its immediate vicinity. This is for the safety of all residents within. There have been no reports made by the victims to our department about any additional threats being made toward either of them.
Support of the victims in this case is paramount. However, for the safety of all individuals, anyone identified as threatening or harassing anyone in our community could face criminal charges and/or student conduct charges.
SIUE Statement - Sunday, Jan. 30:
This remains an active investigation. Pending the results of the investigation, any responsible parties will be held accountable and face consequences pursuant to our code of conduct. The specific disciplinary consequence will be carefully considered and determined by the totality of the circumstances. SIUE remains committed to its value of inclusion and to providing dignified experiences to all members of the campus community.