KENOSHA -- Kenosha County Sheriff's officials were on the UW-Parkside campus Thursday night, conducting interviews and canvassing after they say "written threats" were found. FOX6's Henry Rosoff reports a school official confirmed Thursday night these "written threats" were in the form of a "hit list," listing African-American students. This comes after two separate incidents where students found a noose hanging from a campus dorm. FOX6 obtained an exclusive photo of this noose Thursday from students.
According to police reports, a noose made out of rubber bands was found hanging in the Pike River Suites commons area on Wednesday afternoon. Students also tell FOX6 News, there was also a note nearby that said "noose."
Early Thursday morning, a second noose with racial slurs was found on the door of the student who reported the first noose. That student is African-American. Marc 'Anthony Simpson is a sophomore at the school. He told us, "I don't feel safe with stuff like that being here. That's a death threat to somebody who looks just like me."
One student who claims to be listed on the "hit list" told FOX6's Henry Rosoff over the phone Thursday night that many of those on the list are calling their parents to pick them up, and students say they've had enough.
Ian Guthrie, who's a Parkside freshman said, "It's an offending gesture. I'm offends me and I'm a white student."
School officials met with students at 10:00 Thursday night. They had a meeting with students Thursday afternoon, after which the "hit list" was found, in the same dormitory where the nooses were found earlier Thursday.
In a statement sent to students on Thursday, UW-Parkside Chancellor Debbie Ford said, "Hate cannot and will not be part of UW-Parkside. Our first step in responding is to make sure the individual who reported the hate incident is cared for."
Several students told FOX6 they were frustrated with the university's handling of the situation. Administrators met with students Thursday afternoon to talk about diversity, and school officials say they're trying to turn this sad moment into a teachable moment. "We don't tolerate these types of acts, and we're going to use a team approach to resolving them. I think we have an unfortunate incident that can be a catalyst for change in practical ways, that can make the campus better for everyone," UW-Parkside Diversity Officer Dr. Ed Twyman said.
Chancellor Ford indicated the university is working on a short-term response and planning for long-term steps to address the concerns of students, faculty and staff. The university is working with neighboring law enforcement to post somebody outside each dorm for safety during the next few days.