News

University president condemns noose incident, shares community resources

May 10, 2022, 9:43 p.m.

Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne released a statement on Monday condemning the recent discovery of a noose outside Branner Hall. Tessier-Lavigne referred students to the Protected Identity Harm (PIH) website for updates on the investigation and available community resources. 

Tessier-Lavigne wrote that the incident, which is being investigated as a hate crime, shows “how far we still have to go” in advancing equity, inclusion and belonging in the Stanford community. 

“It is especially dispiriting that this incident does not exist in isolation, but is part of a longer series of incidents, here and elsewhere, that continue to seek to intimidate and marginalize members of the Black community and many other communities because of their identity,” Tessier-Lavigne wrote. Similar incidents occurred on campus in November 2021 and July 2019.

According to the PIH website, the noose, which was discovered on Sunday, was made out of ropes that had not been removed from the tree after a student organization performance years ago. Now, the University plans to work on a “protocol and culture of removing ropes from trees, including ropes positioned for the purposes of outdoor activities such as rope swings, frisbee golf or theatrical productions,” according to the website.  

The Stanford Department of Public Safety (SUDPS) is investigating the incident by reaching out to grounds maintenance, dining hall, professional and student staff, as well as residents. Anyone with relevant information should reach out to the SUDPS office at (650) 723-9633.

According to the PIH website, it is not known whether a Stanford community member caused the incident.

“My heart aches for the members of our Black community who are experiencing a full range of emotions as a result of the appearance of this noose, including feeling targeted, fearful or dismayed,” Tessier-Lavigne wrote. “I stand with you in rejecting hate and in stating that conduct of this kind has no place at Stanford.”

Over the next week, the University plans to hold multiple events supporting community members.

Black CAPS “Let’s Talk” Students Hours will take place from May 11 to May 13 at the Black House. The Black Staff Alliance and the Faculty Staff Help Center are co-sponsoring a monthly drop-in group on May 12. Additionally, The Office for Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL) continues to offer care and counseling by spiritual leaders.

Anastasiia Malenko is the Vol. 260 Magazine Editor. Originally from Ukraine, she focuses on politics and international student life in her coverage. In her free time, she loves listening to throwbacks and catching up on book and coffee recommendations. Contact her at amalenko 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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