A Black doll found hanging by a noose in a shared bathroom at a Michigan college this week may spell expulsion for the student responsible.
A resident adviser at Eastern Michigan University’s Best Hall dormitory discovered the doll hanging from his shower rod Monday, Feb. 11.
“It was actually hung by its neck with multiple knots attached to it,” Christopher Casillas, a white RA who lives in the affected suite, told Fox 47 of the incident.
The doll was put in the shower by a student at the Ypsilanti, Mich., university, but the pupil does not live in the suite. The student, who Casillas told WNEM he learned was the girlfriend of one of his suite mates, was visiting and lives in another part of Best Hall. She told administrators the action was a “prank” with no malicious or racist intentions.
“It was probably just a prank, although, I feel like it was a prank in bad taste,” Christina Giles, an EMU student who is Black, told the news station.
“It literally just symbolizes the thing that we’ve been trying for years to avoid,” Chadwick Hall, also a Black student, said. “Just one person being a dummy, to be honest.”
After campus police and school officials got involved and started investigating, EMU released a statement condemning the act.
“Eastern Michigan takes this matter very seriously. There is absolutely no place at Eastern for hateful and racist actions, regardless of their intent,” the statement said. “At this time, the University continues to investigate the incident and will take appropriate steps upon completion of the investigation.”
In addition to possible expulsion, a university spokesperson said the student will also face criminal charges of ethnic intimidation.
This is not the first time the school has been rocked by controversies of apparent racism, however.
In fall 2016, EMU students faced three separate incidents of racist graffiti in as many months from September to November.
Someone wrote “KKK” and “Leave N——” on the outside of a campus building in September. The day after, a racial slur was found written inside a stairwell on campus.
Then, in November, another racial slur written in spray paint was reported after it was found on the side of a classroom building. More than a year after the first incident, EMU announced former student Eddie Curlin, who is Black, was charged with three counts of malicious destruction of property, four counts of identity theft and another charge deriving from a host of vandalism incidents that took aim at Black people.