Just before 11 a.m. Kalamazoo College administrators sent a campus-wide email alerting students and faculty to a threatening message directed at the Student Commission just after midnight.
According to the email, key administrators, including the Associate Dean of Students and President Wilson-Oyelaran, met early this morning with 40 students who were especially concerned with the message’s contents.
“The entry is racist, anti-Semitic, sexist, and homophobic. It also contained a direct threat for March 5 aimed at ‘faculty at Kalamazoo U, that will teach them the value of campus carry,’” the email said.
After students alerted College administrators, an officer from the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (KDPS) was dispatched and met with several students.
Due to the message’s anonymity, it is unclear whether or not it was written by a member of the campus community, or someone outside. The message was submitted to the Commission’s open Google Doc, and its editing capability is open to the general public. The Information Services team is currently attempting to identify the source.
According to the KDPS’ initial review, the hate-filled message is probably not a credible threat and is “unlikely to be acted upon.”
Despite this, the College reaffirmed the seriousness with which it intends to proceed.
“It is unnerving for many people, and we are taking precautions and measures to address the concerns of those who feel uneasy. Please be aware of your surroundings, and if you see anything you consider amiss please report it to the Security Department,” they said.
Until further notice, both campus security and the KDPS will be on heightened alert with more patrols in the area.
The administration’s email explained that the College and the KDPS are treating the message as a hate crime. The email also referred to the message’s non-compliance with the College’s honor system, which requires students to “respect those with whom we may differ and to recognize the rights held by others.”
In light of the anonymous threat and recent events regarding the safety of students of color on campus, the administration plans to hold an hour of reflection at 4 p.m. today in Stetson Chapel: inviting “all of us to stand together to reject any action that dehumanizes members of our community.”
Update: Interview with Information Services
(Interview by Trisha Dunham)