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8:05 PM. A mass e-mail is sent out to listservs for SCEG, SPEaK, SHOCC, USCC, CSSN, Lucha, AAA, AAA PC, and Student Capital Campaign. It reads as follows:

This morning a noose was found on the office door of an African American faculty member at Teachers College.

A few undergraduate students from different communities were notified about the recent events through e-mail and phone calls this evening. Because these events do not only affect the students at Teachers College, but the entire University student body, we are calling a gathering at Earl Hall tonight at 9pm for any and all students as a place for support and discussion.

Following is the email sent to the student body of Teachers College today:

To the TC Community:

The police were here this morning because a hangman's noose was discovered on the office door of one of our African American faculty members. The incident has been reported to the New York City Police Department (Detectives Bureau of Manhattan) and is under active investigation by the Hate Crimes Task Force.

The TC community and I deplore this hateful act, which violates every Teachers College and societal norm.

Anyone who has any information about this incident is urged to immediately contact (anonymously or otherwise) any of the following:

The 26th Precinct Detective Squad (212 678-1351);

Crime stoppers (1 800 577-TIPS);

John DeAngelis, Chief of Public Safety (212 678-4180);

Janice Robinson, TC General Counsel and Executive Director,
President's Office of Diversity and Community (212 678-3732).

Susan Fuhrman

[Note: According to various attendees of the meeting, the targeted professor was also female and worked under a 10-year contract]


11:10 PM. Chants echo over cobblestones glistening in the rain. Outcries run from Earl Hall to Teacher's College. These are cries of "unity and solidarity" that, uttered by twenty-something students (some holding instantly made cardboard signs), hold just a fraction of the emotions expressed by over a hundred students that gathered in a room with terrible acoustics in an emergency meeting responding to "The Noose Incident".


What can you do about this NOW? Here are a few general ideas:

  • MARCH tomorrow from Low Steps to Teacher's College, starting at 2 PM. We undergrads should show our support to our fellow Columbia colleagues.
  • E-MAIL President Bollinger at: bollinger@columbia.edu. Spamming does wonders; get on that.
  • CALL the Columbia hotline: 212-854-1754


Words for thought:

Was this an isolated incident, or a pea in an entire pod of racial hate crimes?

Let's look at Columbia's recent publicity:

9/14: An Asian American student is confronted by NYPD officers for drinking on public grounds with no ID. Two white students walk by with 40s; the officers tell them to put their drinks in brown bags and walk away.

9/24: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad comes to speak on campus as part of what Prezbo calls an example of "free speech at Columbia". Protests spark anti-Muslim sentiment.

9/27: Racial graffiti is found scrawled in a SIPA bathroom stall targeting people of Middle Eastern and African descent, just three days before the National Walkout for Jena 6 commences.

In less than one month.


Let us not overlook the fact that racism and oppression happen everyday, if not always in such explicit forms. We must fix the community and administration which has created an environment that makes individuals feel comfortable to say and do such things. If you think that this doesn't involve you, think harder.



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