Students protest racist threats at St. Olaf, plan campus boycott

St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.
Entrance to St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.
MPR Photo/Tom Weber

St. Olaf College in Northfield says it's investigating recent incidents of reported racism on campus. Saturday night, hundreds of students held a sit-in protest in the campus commons. They say the school isn't doing enough to support them or make them feel safe.

"It was a very surprising outcome," said student Shivani Vyas. "We were all gathered, we were all sharing our stories, how we felt, what we needed."

On Saturday, a student reported receiving a threatening note left on her car. The note used a racial slur and read, "I am so glad you are leaving soon." Other students have reportedly found similar notes on their cars in recent weeks.

Students who organized the protest say they plan a campus-wide boycott on Monday, and will not attend classes.

Early on Sunday, a group of students walked through a morning chapel service on campus.

In a statement, the college said, "the repeated violations of our values by people who have sent hateful and threatening messages to members of our community are simply unacceptable."

The college said it's also working with the Northfield Police department.

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