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Hateful Incidents On Campus

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Dr. Karen Riggs,  the coordinator of the Scripps College of Communication Social Media Certificate, proudly wears her “not my president” button a student made for her. For her,  it’s way to express support and solidarity to her students from marginalized groups. Riggs , like a number of students, was disappointed with the election results.

Riggs said, “My reaction was terror and anger at my fellow Americans. The students that I have been in contact with  by and large are very disappointed. The students whom I have, they were all upset about the election results. I took Kleenex to class and I knew it would be used. That is how sad they were and I kind of just let it out and let them decompress.”

In addition to dealing with the emotional impact of the election, there have been a number of reported incidents around the country of physical and verbal attacks, racist graffiti, and hateful harassment.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit organization monitoring the activities of domestic hate groups and other extremists, reported 867 incidents of hateful harassment or intimidation in the United States since the election of Donald Trump.

Riggs says students are coming to her with stories of harassment as well.

Riggs said, “African American students,women, they had been uptown and they saw these make America Great again hats and felt marginalized by them. Another woman told me that she was some of her friends uptown and some guys and turned and spoke to them uninvited and said you know after the inauguration we are going to be grabbing you by the pu**y. I had a gay student who told me he has been called faggot uptown several times.”

While some of Riggs students are coming to her with stories of incidents that made them fearful about what could happen in the post-election climate, Ohio University Police say no one has come to them to report a hate crime.

But for students from minority communities, it is an uneasy time and so Dr. Riggs will continue to wear her button  to show students who may feel uneasy navigating this current political climate that they are not alone.