The College Post
The College Post -- Covering Higher Education in America

Students Outraged After OSU Labels Black-on-White Crime ‘Hate’

A group of Ohio State University (OSU) students in Columbus demonstrated and vented their anger on social media over the university reporting two violent incidents on campus as “hate crimes” and identifying the race of the alleged perpetrators and victims.

The university sent out a public safety notice on September 3, required under the federal Jeanne Clery Act, mentioning the incidents involving Black students allegedly assaulting their white counterparts.

In the first incident on September 2, the notice says, a Black student first hurled a racial slur towards a white student standing across a street, which led to an altercation between the two.

The Black student then allegedly ran towards the white one and punched him in the face, leaving him injured.

In the second incident, that took place on the same day, a Black female pulled up her car near a white male and female students and allegedly yelled a racial slur towards them.

A while later, when the couple again ran into the Black female student, she allegedly hit the white female before a Black male student, believed to be the one involved in the first incident, joined her, who then assaulted the white male student also.

Suspects Not Charged With Hate Crime

Both suspects were later charged with felonious assault and assault, according to OSU’s student newspaper The Lantern.

Later, the state’s department of safety sent out two emails confirming the race of the victims and released the names of the suspects.

The release of the university notice, the two emails, and the content of the news outraged students on campus.

Students Gather to Protest

On September 8, around 100 students gathered outside of the school’s administrative offices and protested the “error and confusion in the handling of” the public safety notices, reported Campus Reform.

University spokesperson Dan Hedman told The Lantern that “because the suspects were of a different race than the victims, the racial slur used in [the] incident fell under the Clery Act’s definition of a hate crime, and the university was legally obligated to report it as such.”

However, the two suspects were not charged with a hate crime.

University Police Chief Kimberly Spears-McNatt told OSU’s student newspaper that leaders in the Department of Public Safety met with the members of the university’s Public Safety Advisory Committee on September 8 to discuss potential changes to the protocol regarding naming charged suspects.

A group of university students commented on social media that terming the incident as “hate crime” was wrong on the university’s part as racial slurs directed towards white people “are not based on a history of violence & oppression towards White people.”