A few hours later, hundreds of Duke students and faculty members gathered to march and chant: “We are not afraid. We stand together.”
Larry Moneta, Duke's vice president for student affairs, said in an email to the student body, “I just want to say if your intent was to create fear, it will have the opposite effect.” And it actually did have the opposite effect.
A Duke student admitted hanging the noose the day after the incident. The student was an undergraduate, but police haven't publicly identified the student's name or gender. It's also not clear whether the individual had been subject to prior disciplinary action, or whether other students were involved in the incident.
Moneta said during a news conference on Friday that information from the Duke community helped them track down a suspect quickly.
"I'm extraordinarily gratified that students in particular were very quick to bring to our attention the information that they had," he said. "I think students really bonded in joining other students to try to figure out what happened."
The investigation is ongoing, and police haven't speculated about the student's motive for hanging the noose.
Hundreds of Duke students and faculty members have recognized the seriousness and showed willingness to change.
“That someone might think such a behavior can be interpreted as a mere prank proves the insensitivity that we still bear,” said Jane Park, a Duke freshman. “Yet, Duke’s quick reaction both by its student and administration gave out hope that there are more people who want to show that this kind of behavior won’t be tolerated and will try to change this culture for a better Duke.”
This incident should not be forgotten as a mere happening on April Fools’ Day. Also, it should not be assumed to be a far-away matter that is ever going to happen in other campuses.
The Duke community believes it is time to harshly punish what is wrong, truthfully reflect and heartily push for a change.