WASHINGTON DC – American University officials are investigating after bananas hanging by string in the shape of nooses were found on the Washington DC campus over the weekend.
The bananas were marked the letters “AKA,” which is the abbreviation for Alpha Kappa Alpha, a historically African American college sorority.
Photos of the bananas hanging on campus began to circulate Monday morning on social media.
The bananas were found hanging from three separate places on campus, according to Fanta Aw, the interim vice president of campus life at American University.
“These racist, hateful messages have no place in our community. The safety of our students is paramount,” Aw said in a statement to students Monday. “The American University Department of Public Safety is investigating. Anyone with information to share about this incident is encouraged to go to the AUPD TIPS site or call 202.885.2527.”
The public safety department is also reviewing surveillance video from around campus.
This comes after several racial incidents were reported at the university in September of 2016. In one incident, a black female student said a banana was thrown at her.
“It is disheartening and immensely frustrating that we are still dealing with this issue after recent conversations, dialogues and town halls surrounding race relations on campus,” Student Government President Taylor Dumpson said Monday. “But this is exactly why we need to do more than just have conversations but move in a direction toward more tangible solutions to prevent incidents like these from occurring in the future.”