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Ohio College Suspends Classes Following Klu Klux Klan Sighting

Oberlin College canceled classes after a student reported seeing an individual resembling a Ku Klux Klan member walking around campus
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 3/5/2013, 7:44 PM

Jewish students
Jewish students
Flash 90

Ohio's Oberlin College canceled classes Monday after a student reported seeing an individual wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe walking around campus.

College administrators immediately called an emergency meeting, asking faculty and staff to "gather for a series of discussions of the challenging issues that have faced our community in recent weeks," a statement on Oberlin's website said.

"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," the statement said.

Last month swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti were discovered on campus, while in February, racism was also found on school grounds.

"The frequency of these reports is astounding," said Meredith Gadsby, associate professor and chairwoman of the Africana Studies Department, according to CNN. "Over the past four weeks, there has been a concentration of bias incidents in such a short period of time. I have no idea why this happened, no idea who the culprits are, no idea where this is coming from. Students are saying this is not what they came to Oberlin to experience."

Shimon Brand, Hillel director at Oberlin for over 30 years, noted that such incidents were "exceedingly out of the ordinary" but that students have worked together to address the incident.

"Instead of students acting as victims, they reacted through understanding and engagement. There's a real sense of sadness and anger, but solidarity that there's work to be done," he said, according to CNN.