A Black doll was hung from a shower rod in a shared bathroom in a residence hall at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti. The doll was found by a resident adviser and he notified campus police and the Office of Wellness and Community Standards at the university.
The girlfriend of one of the students who lives in the shared suite reportedly hung the doll as “a prank” and claimed it was not malicious or racist.
James M. Smith, president of Eastern Michigan University, called the prank “a racist act” and turned over the results of the university’s investigation to local prosecutors. He issued a statement that read in part: “The racist, hateful imagery surrounding this is abhorrent to all of us and has no place anywhere, and especially not at Eastern Michigan University. Acts such as this harm not only the person involved, but create a wider concern and fear, particularly among our Black and other minority populations, and run directly contrary to our commitment to establish a supportive and welcoming environment for everyone in our campus community.”
Eastern Michigan University enrolls just over 20,000 students. African Americans make up 18 percent of the undergraduate student body.