OBERLIN, Ohio — Classes at Oberlin College were canceled on Monday after a series of “hate-related incidents” on campus, the school announced on its website.
Officials say the latest problem occurred Monday morning near the African Heritage House, where a person wearing a hood and robe resembling the KKK was spotted.
“As I was driving in my car, I saw, what seemed to be someone in KKK paraphernalia walking around,” said Sunceray Tavler, a student who reported the incident.
That event, in addition to other challenging issues that have faced the community in recent weeks, forced school administrators to suspend formal classes and all non-essential activities on Monday.
“These events have been going on for a month. It started with some graffiti, some swastikas being drawn on buildings, posters are being defaced, people are getting very upset,” said A.D. Hogan, senior class president.
Instead of class, students were encouraged to participate in a series of discussions planned Monday.
“I came to Oberlin believing in the progressive history of Oberlin,” said student Warren Harding. “The first to admit African-Americans and women. But still realizing the challenges that these marginalized groups have had at Oberlin.”
Campus police are still investigating. Classes will resume Tuesday.
The school made the following statement on its website:
“We hope today will allow the entire community—students, faculty, and staff—to make a strong statement about the values that we cherish here at Oberlin: inclusion, respect for others, and a strong and abiding faith in the worth of every individual. Indeed, the strength of Oberlin comes from our belief that diversity and openness enriches us all, and enhances the educational mission at its core.”
“When faced with difficult situations, Oberlin has consistently met the challenges and affirmed its commitment to the highest quality of education and the noblest aspirations of its community members. We believe that today’s events—and our ongoing work and discussions—will strengthen Oberlin and will strengthen us all,” the statement continued.