Student Activism / March 1, 2010
The Guardian, UCSD’s student newspaper, has printed a statement that it says was written by the student who hung a noose in the campus library last week.
The student — who remains anonymous — claims that last Tuesday, two days before the noose was found, a friend of hers fashioned it from a piece of rope she had found on the ground, “without thinking of any of its connotations or the current racial climate at UCSD.” She herself then carried the noose with her to the library “and ended up hanging it at my desk.” It was, she says, “a mindless act and stupid mistake.” When she left the library hours later, “I simply forgot about it.”
The student says that she didn’t learn of the noose’s discovery until Friday morning. “Ashamed and embarrassed,” she called campus police and confessed. “As a minority student who sympathizes with the students that have been affected by recent issues on campus,” she writes, “I am distraught to know that I have unintentionally added to their pain.”
An editor’s note at the end of her statement says that the paper “has verified the author’s authenticity.”
The full text of the statement, which at this writing is only available in PDF form at the paper’s website, appears below.
I have a story that needs to be heard. I am the girl you’ve read about, the one who hung the noose in Geisel Library.
Firstly, I’m writing to apologize. I don’t have an excuse for what I did, and I deeply regret it.
Secondly, I’m writing to hopefully put a little bit of faith back into the UCSD campus by clarifying that it was not an act of racism. This is what happened.
I found a small piece of rope on the ground earlier in the day. While I was hanging out with my friends a bit later, we tried jump- roping with it and making it into a lasso.
My friend then took the rope and tied it into a noose. I innocently marveled at his ability to tie a noose, without thinking of any of its connotations or the current racial climate at UCSD. I left soon after with one of my friends for Geisel to study, still carrying the rope.
After a bit of studying I picked up the rope to play with, and ended up hanging it by my desk. It was a mindless act and stupid mistake. When I got up to leave, a couple hours later, I simply forgot about it. This was Tuesday night.
Three days later, on Friday morning, I found out that the noose had been found and construed as another racist act on campus.
I felt so ashamed and embarrassed, and the first thing I did was call the campus police and confess. I was hoping to clarify that this was not an act of racism before the incident got a full reaction from the campus. I gave my statement around 9 a.m. They thanked me for coming forward and for trying to clear up the issue.
Later, I received a campuswide e-mail saying that I confessed and had been taken into custody, which simply wasn’t true. One thing that is true is that I have been suspended.
I know what I did was offensive — regardless of my intentions — I am just trying to say I’m sorry. As a minority student who sympathizes with the students that have been affected by the recent issues on campus, I am distraught to know that I have unintentionally added to their pain.