K-State Investigating After Noose Hung From Campus Tree

May 8, 2017

UPDATED, 4:50 p.m. Monday: The Kansas State University Police Department is investigating after a noose was found hanging from a tree on campus Friday.

The school's Office of Institutional Equity received the complaint. The noose was removed by campus police.

"While we do not know the intent of the person who placed the noose, the effect on the K-State campus was immediate," K-State President Richard Myers wrote in a statement. "Once reported, the noose was quickly removed, but not before it was seen by many on campus, including families visiting for Junior Day."

Myers urged students who did not understand why it was intolerable to hang a knotted rope from a tree to "please reach out to one of our African American students, faculty or staff to ask why this act is intolerable."

Recent K-State alumna Sydnee Harris wrote a response to Myers:

Harris told KCUR that she thinks K-State needs to do more than issue a statement when racist incidents occur on campus. In September, a former student posted a Snapchat of herself in blackface, and in 2015, K-State students ridiculed Black Lives Matter protesters on Yik Yak, an anonymous social platform.

“It’s kind of putting the incident – the responsibility of teaching on black students, the ones who were victimized," says Harris, who lives in Kansas City now. "If you want conversation, you don't go to the people who were victimized because they're the ones who've been marginalized to the point where their voices don't matter.” 

Students tweeted at K-State with the hashtag #DontLeaveUsHanging after the noose was taken down Friday.

Elle Moxley covers Missouri schools and politics for KCUR. You can reach her on Twitter @ellemoxley.