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College students organize vigil following offensive comments - abc27 WHTM

Lancaster County

College students organize vigil following offensive comments

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ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) -

While Elizabethtown College officials continue to investigate several incidents of inappropriate comments and messages written on white boards on campus, students took a stand. Friday night a group gathered for a candlelight vigil.

A group on nearly 100 students and supporters gathered on Elizabethtown's campus outside the college's Brossman Student Commons to "stand up to the hate."

Students like Junior Kenya Elliott were in the crowd. Elliot said she saw a racial slur on her friend's dorm room door at the beginning of this semester.

"It was just mind-blowing that somebody would write that," Elliott said.

Student organizer Stacey Catigano said he had to organize an event to show everyone the incidents won't be tolerated by the community.

"It started getting to the point where students were seriously talking about dropping out," Catigano said.

Representatives from the Lancaster NAACP attended Friday's vigil.

The school has had 19 biased-related incidents since February. They say racial slurs and threats were written on white boards on room doors at two campus dorms. There have also been reports of students making anti-gay and anti-Semitic comments.

School officials would not comment on how many students are involved, but indicated action would be taken—ranging from requesting an apology to expelling the student.

A recent campus forum was held for students and faculty to discuss the incidents. Security changes have taken place inside the residence halls.

School officials have been in contact with the FBI. The bureau determined the incidents were not hate crimes.

A man suspected of involvement has been banned from campus. He is not a student at the school.

School officials say others have been reprimanded in connection with the incidents as well. The investigation is ongoing.

No comments were reported Friday; however one note was reported. In the message, someone stated that they did not like the amount of publicity the comments were receiving.

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