Administrators at Stanford sent an urgent email to the university staff and students on Monday, reassuring them that two ropes found on a tree that “resembled nooses” would be thoroughly investigated since nooses are “a potent symbol of anti-Black racism.”
But the administrators added they didn’t know if the ropes, which were estimated to have been there for almost two years, were actually nooses or “part of an abandoned swing or rope ladder.”
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A copy of the email was provided to the Washington Examiner and was sent by Dean of Students Mona Hicks as well as Vice Provost for Institutional Equity, Access, and Community Patrick Dunkley. It informed students that the ropes were found along the Lake Lagunita walking trail on campus.
Administrators “immediately contacted the Stanford University Department of Public Safety (DPS), which promptly investigated the incident with a campus arborist.”
“We know this is a very difficult communication to receive, and could compound anger and disappointment you may be feeling knowing a noose was reported on campus in summer 2019 and given the discrimination experienced by many Black campus community members,” the email said.
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Stanford did not answer a question about why it sent the email before determining if the rope was a noose or a rope ladder.