YPSILANTI TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A student inside a residence hall at Eastern Michigan University found a black doll hanging from a noose in a shower, officials said.
The person responsible has already been caught, but now police and campus leaders have to decide what's next. One student called it a prank, but EMU officials said it could rise to the level of ethnic intimidation.
UPDATE: No charges expected
"I don't know what to say," EMU senior Carrie Davis said. "I can't believe that happened here."
Word of the incident inside Best Hall on the EMU campus is spreading to other students and staff members.
"It's a little surprising," EMU sophomore Logan Anderson said. "We're usually about family here."
A resident advisor in Best Hall found a black doll hanging by a noose from the shower rod in a bathroom shared with roommates.
"You know, hanging a noose, then it's a black doll," EMU freshman Chadwick Hall said. "(That's something we've been) trying for years to avoid."
The person who hung the doll is an EMU student who was visiting and doesn't live in the suite with the other students. That student told administrators it was a prank with no malicious or racist intentions.
"I feel like it's a prank done in bad taste," EMU freshman Christina Giles said.
"Just one person being (dumb)," Hall said. "There's a lot of good kids here."
When the doll was found, EMU police and campus leaders got involved.
"Eastern Michigan takes this matter very seriously," school officials said in a statement. "There is absolutely no place at Eastern for hateful and racist actions, regardless of their intent. At this time, the university continues to investigate the incident and will take appropriate steps upon completion of the investigation."
"There's probably something malicious," Davis said. "I can't believe people are like this."
School officials don't see it as a prank, and the student will face possible charges of ethnic intimidation. Expulsion from the university is also being considered as an option.