Stanford launches investigation after noose found on campus: 'I was just distraught'

Stanford University is conducting an investigation after a noose was found tied to a tall bush near a campus residence, in which a group of mostly minority high school students is staying for a summer program.

According to deputies from the university's department of public safety, the three-foot-long white rope was found on the night of July 12. Cheron Perkins, a medical student from New Orleans who is working as an adviser to the students in the program, took a photo of the noose and shared the image on Twitter. She says it took Stanford police "over an hour" to respond, and that a 911 operator told her it wasn't "an emergency."

"My immediate thought was nothing but fear because I'd never seen a noose," Perkins told NBC Bay Area. "I was just distraught."

She believes that the noose, which the university said, "has no place on our campus," was a message for the minority students she is advising.

Perkins and her colleagues feel as if the issue has been "swept under the rug."

"I was terrified for my life," a program assistant, who wished not to be identified, also told the station. "I called my mom, and she was ready to put me on a plane back home. You don't know who is hanging around and what their actions might be, and we had the most minorities of all the summer camps."

A statement provided to Yahoo Lifestyle by Stanford University read, in part: "The incident is currently under investigation as a suspicious circumstance, but if additional evidence comes to light, it may be re-classified as a hate crime. While we await further conclusions from the investigation, we feel it is important to state that a noose is recognized as a symbol of violence and racism directed against African American peoples. Such a symbol has no place on our campus. Our community values affirm the dignity of all peoples and call upon us to strive for a just community in which discrimination and hate have no presence."

Stanford's Acts of Intolerance office, which addresses "situations involving acts of intolerance reported by campus community members," has also been notified.

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