St. Olaf president: Racist note was 'fabricated'

- Officials from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, released a letter from President Anderson on Wednesday, revealing that the author of a racist note recently found on campus was "fabricated." According to the letter, the person who wrote the note did so in an attempt to "draw attention to the campus climate."

Federal student privacy laws prohibit the College from disclosing the author's identity and from disclosing the actions taken by the College now that we know the author's identity.

However, the president wrote that despite this revelation, the concerns about the school's climate are real and the college will "continue earnestly to investigate all of the other racist and hateful messages that have been reported."

President Anderson's Letter:

I am writing with an update on the College's investigation into the racist messages and acts of hate that have occurred on campus.

We've completed our investigation of the incident involving the racist and threatening note that was reportedly left on a student's car on April 29. We confronted a person of interest who confessed to writing the note. We've confirmed that this was not a genuine threat. We're confident that there is no ongoing threat from this incident to individuals or the community as a whole.

We continue to investigate the other racist incidents, which we are taking very seriously.

I want to state very clearly that while this was not a genuine threat, we remain committed to the process we have begun to address the concerns about the campus climate that have been raised.

I am getting many requests for more information and follow-up to my message this morning. Considering the extraordinary impact that particular note on April 29th had on our campus, I sympathize with the desire for more information. I would love to provide it.

Unfortunately, Federal student privacy laws prohibit the College from disclosing the identity of the author of that note and from disclosing the actions taken by the College now that we know the author's identity.

But I can tell you this. The reason I said in my earlier note that this was not a genuine threat is that we learned from the author's confession that the note was fabricated. It was apparently a strategy to draw attention to concerns about the campus climate.

Despite this fact, those concerns are real and, as I said earlier, we are committed to the process we have begun to address them. We also continue earnestly to investigate all of the other racist and hateful messages that have been reported.

 

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