Noose rumor stirs up meeting

BUS executive board members Quiera Lige, Ashley Tolliver and Ondia Butler listen to the concerns of members after rumors of an alleged noose being hung on campus surfaced yesterday. BUS held a meeting last night in the Student Center to discuss the issue.

Credit: Ron Soltys

An informal Black United Students gathering turned into an emergency meeting last night as rumors spread of a noose allegedly being hung on campus.

BUS President Sasha Parker told more than 150 people at the meeting “to be smart about the situation and play it right,” because it is a rumor and should be treated as such.

In a statement issued jointly by BUS and KSU-NAACP late last night, the organizations asked that students place their faith and trust in its leadership abilities.

This rumor comes in the same week that the “n-word” was painted on a

university sign.

Parker said a press conference is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. in the Kiva.

The source of the rumor could not be determined, but someone calling from Maryland alerted Kent State Police to the situation at 9:47 p.m. last night. The emergency BUS meeting had already been called.

According to police, the caller reported suspicious circumstances near Oscar Ritchie Hall.

Lt. Robert Nation said police immediately searched Oscar Ritchie Hall, the surrounding area and the Lincoln Building, the new administrative building for the Pan-African studies department while Oscar Ritchie Hall is under construction.

Police found nothing.

The BUS meeting began as a showing of a documentary about the Jena 6.

When Parker mentioned the effect Jena 6 has on everyone, a person in the audience brought up the campus rumor.

The crowd grew as attendees called and text messaged others about it.

Parker said she first heard the rumor Wednesday from one of the BUS executive board members, who had heard about it from a student in a class taught by Alene Barnes, an associate professor in Pan-African studies.

Francis Dorsey, interim chair of the department of Pan-African studies, attended last night’s meeting.

“Before you make a move on the wrong information, let’s get the right information,” Dorsey said.

At 11:40 p.m., Pete Goldsmith, vice president for enrollment management and student affairs, said he had not heard about the rumor.

Police are following up on the situation.

Contact assistant news editor Steven Bushong at [email protected], academics reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at [email protected] and minority affairs reporter Christina Stavale at [email protected]. Administration reporter Jackie Valley also contributed to this report.

On behalf of Black United Students and the KSU-NAACP,

We are upset about the racial injustices on this campus because it creates an environment of prejudice and hate. The recent occurrences interrupt the safety of the students, as well as stifle their pursuit of higher education. We are asking students to place their faith and trust in our leadership abilities. We are here to represent our constituents. Other than that, we will discuss more information when it becomes available.

Sasha K. Parker | president, Black United Students.

Preston D. Mitchum | president, KSU-NAACP