Day passes without violence at UW-RFNo violence occurred Monday, but that doesn't mean nothing happened on the day of a purported threat against minorities at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
By: Mike Longaecker, The Republican Eagle
No violence occurred Monday, but that doesn't mean nothing happened on the day of a purported threat against minorities at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
Students marched in unity against racism and intolerance on the campus, where a threat was found Oct. 25 that targeted black and Asian students.
"If there is anyone that believed, even passively, that the days of hate motivated by racism and prejudice are over, let this remind each other that the good fight is not over," UW-RF Chancellor Dean Van Galen told students Monday at a rally.
City and university police were on high alert all day Monday following the threat, which claimed to bring about "destruction of blacks and Asians here." The message was found scrawled on a restroom stall inside the university's library.
No suspects have been identified in the case. University Police Chief Dick Trende said the investigation remains open.
Kevin Harter, the university's media relations director, said though the threat came in the form of graffiti, it had to be taken seriously.
"If you're going to err on a side, you have to err on the side of caution," he said. "I don't think we had any other consideration than to ensure the safety of the student, faculty and staff."
He praised the campus' response to the threat, which he called "a galvanizing, teachable moment."
"I don't think it was a lost effort," Harter said. "In the process, a lot of good things happened."
He doubted the incident will leave lasting effects on the university's reputation. There have been isolated incidents like the Oct. 25 threat, "but it's not commonplace," Harter said.
When prospective students and families look deeper into the university's history, they will find "this is a very safe, welcoming campus, and a good place to be," he said.