Oberlin Racism Outbreak: Ohio College Cancels Classes After Hate Crimes Threaten Campus

Oberlin College in Ohio was forced to cancel classes for what it call "a day of solidarity" on Monday following a slew of hate messages that have appeared throughout the campus.

A person wearing a white robe and hood was seen on campus the day before school administrators decided to cancel classes. The lead, which was reported by a student early Sunday morning, is one of few that campus investigators have to go on according to reports.

Over that past month, "racist, anti-Semitic and antigay messages have been left around campus" according to The New York Times. Officials are uncertain whether the group responsible for the postings is composed of students at Oberlin, but feel confident the number involved is small.

"From what we have seen we believe these actions are the work of a very small number of cowardly people," the college's president, Marvin Krislov, announced on Monday to students who packed into a 1,200-seat campus chapel.

The hate crimes committed include "slurs written on Black History Month posters" and "drawings of swastikas," The Times reported. And third message read: "Whites Only." The outbreak of incident is concerning for a college who in the past has been described as progressive and diverse.

A number of students have shared concerns about fearing for their safety, prompting officials to take more serious action. The officials called the cancellation a way 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."

Oberlin College is a small liberal arts college with almost 3,000 students. The school paper has compiled a more complete list of all the incidents that have occurred, beginning in February. That list can be found here.