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Student expelled from student housing at U. of San Francisco after admitting to hanging noose on campus

A student has been expelled from student housing at the University of San Francisco after admitting to hanging a noose from a fourth-floor balcony on campus.

“As we learn more about this incident in the course of the investigation, further action may be determined,” wrote USF President Paul Fitzgerald in a statement to the campus community.

The noose was discovered around 3:00 P.M. last Tuesday at the Loyola Village residence hall.

“As a community, we are hurt and outraged,” wrote Fitzgerald. “We want to emphasize how seriously we take this incident. A noose has historically been and continues to be a potent symbol of hate and anti-Black racism in the United States. It was used by white supremacists to lynch Black people. The symbolism of the noose as a form of domestic terror evokes a history of racial hatred, bigotry, and violence.”

“Given the climate of racial violence and assault against Black-identified people in the United States, we stand in solidarity with them in condemning this act and carefully investigating the circumstances and individuals involved,” added Fitzgerald.

In many instances, nooses found on college campuses have later been determined to be innocent misunderstandings. In August 2019, a “noose” found on the campus of Stanford University was later determined to have been used to hang ornaments. In July 2019, a “noose” found on the campus of the University of Michigan was later deemed to be a fishing knot. In February 2019, a student mistook another student’s costume lasso as a noose.

Last year, an alleged noose found at a NASCAR race turned into national news when it prompted African-American auto racer Bubba Wallace to speak out about racism within the racing profession. It was later determined the “noose” was simply used to pull down a garage door and had been there for months before Wallace occupied the space.

Sometimes, hate crime symbols are deemed to be outright hoaxes, such as when a black Air Force Academy cadet admitted in 2017 to writing “Go home ni**er” on black students’ dorm room doors.

In December 2018, Drake University campus officials discovered four of five racist notes discovered in residence halls were hoaxes perpetrated by the same student.

A spokesperson for USF did not immediately respond to a question by The College Fix as to the student’s race in the most recent noose incident.

“A single act of intolerance or hate can erode our sense of community,” said Fitzgerald in his statement. “We must all take responsibility for speaking out against hatred and prejudice and for helping to prevent such occurrences,” he said, suggesting students file complaints with the campus Bias Education and Resource Team.

Fitzgerald’s statement is prefaced by a trigger warning for those who find mention of a noose “disturbing.”

MORE: Here are 50 campus hate-crime hoaxes The College Fix has covered since 2012

IMAGE: R. Badowski / Shutterstock

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About the Author
Senior Reporter
Christian focuses on investigative, enterprise and analysis reporting. He is the author of "1916: The Blog" and has spent time as a political columnist at USA Today, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and National Review Online. His op-eds have been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Post, City Journal, Weekly Standard and National Review. He has also been a frequent guest on political television and radio shows. He holds a master’s degree in political science from Marquette University and lives in Madison, Wisconsin.