Stanford investigating noose found in tree as hate crime

A noose was found hanging outside a dorm at Stanford University on Sunday and campus police are investigating it as a hate crime.

At about 7:45 p.m. Sunday, someone alerted campus officials about the noose, found in a tree outside Branner Hall, an undergraduate housing facility, according to a message sent to the university community from Vice Provost for Student Affairs Susie Brubaker-Cole and Vice Provost for Institutional Equity, Access and Community Patrick Dunkley.

"We cannot state strongly enough that a noose is a reprehensible symbol of anti-Black racism and violence that will not be tolerated on our campus," the message reads in part.

"We know this horrific discovery will shake our community and we have begun to develop an outreach plan to provide assistance to all who are in need, bearing in mind that this is not the first time this has occurred at Stanford in recent years," according to the message sent out Sunday evening.

It is the third such incident on campus reported in the past four years, according to information on Stanford's Protected Identity Harm Reporting website.

Students were dismayed.

"Certainly disturbing information to hear," said Sheena, a Stanford law student. "It doesn’t necessarily make you feel comfortable on campus." 

Hamed, a freshman who says he lives in Branner Hall, believes the noose was spotted hanging from one of the trees just behind Branner Hall. He says there are Black students living in Branner and that the residential hall is racially diverse. 

"The potential charged hatred around that is just unsettling," said Hamed. 

Officers from the Stanford Department of Public Safety removed the noose and kept it as evidence for their investigation.

Anyone with information about the noose is asked to contact campus police at (650) 723-9633 or the department's 24/7 communications center at (650) 329-2413.