Clowns and KKK frighten students

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Over the past week, DePauw University Public Safety has received reports of separate clown and Klu Klux Klan sightings.

On Oct. 4, Public Safety received multiple calls about a clown near the athletic campus and sent a campus-wide email the following day to address the matter. “No callers had seen a clown, but had heard through their contacts that a clown had been seen,” wrote Director of Public Safety, Angie Nally, in the email.

Nally also noted that security camera footage in the area had been reviewed and “no suspicious activity was observed.”

Students who heard rumors of the clowns were upset. “I don’t like that they’re bringing this trend just to start rumors and get people riled up,” said senior Laurel O’Rourke, “People with high anxiety; it really threw them off.”

Students were still troubled after the email was sent from Public Safety. “It was kind of freaky, because you really couldn’t be sure,” O’Rourke said, “I had to walk back home alone at night and I was very freaked out, and it didn’t help that people were yelling from cars.”

On Saturday Oct. 8, Public Safety received a call about the sighting of the Ku Klux Klan on or near campus earlier in the week. Public Safety said in an email that there is no reason to believe the Ku Klux Klan was on campus.

Public Safety went on to detail “suspicious activity,” on Sept. 19 and stated that rumors had tied the activity to the Klu Klux Klan. In addition, the person who called in saw someone dressed in all black and others in white tee shirts.

“Our officer went to the area and found no one there, or in the athletic campus or the nature park,” wrote Nally, in a campus-wide email on Oct. 8. In the email, Nally stated that the completed report did not mention the Klu Klux Klan.

“I didn’t think that the clowns were going to pose a real threat, but the KKK could do actual damage to our campus,” said O’Rourke, “It was a more rational fear, and I could feel the difference.”

Both of these events, although said to not have occurred, have made students on campus feel nervous. “I really hate the fact that emails like that have to be sent like that,” said sophomore Sarah Russell, “Transparency is the best thing they (Public Safety) can to do to make sure that they are protected, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s a really hurtful, stressful situation for everyone involved which leaves people with an overwhelming feeling things haven’t changed and there is still a lot of violence in the world.”

Students are also worried about what response will occur on the part of the University. “It scared me even more that there was a possible KKK sighting on campus. I expect the administration to take a definitive stance against any kind of support for what I consider a terrorist organization that has historically promoted violence and hatred,” said sophomore Kiara Goodwine, “Any KKK member sighting must be taken seriously and addressed as a threat.”

Angie Nally was not available to comment in time for publication.