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DES MOINES, Iowa — Many Drake University students have mixed feelings about the news surrounding the racist letters investigation and some students of color say they still don’t feel safe.

Drake Student Morgan Coleman said this problem of racism on campus goes way beyond the notes regardless of whether they were real or fake.

“After painting painted street black there’s been a lot of conversations and that’s the whole point. We wanted it to be a conversation piece. We wanted students to talk about it in their classrooms and to kind of get to the root of the problem,” Coleman said.

She said there is still a lot of work to be done.

“Racism manifests itself in many different ways. And although I cannot speak personally, and nobody can speak personally, to the motives of either individual who sent either set of notes, I do think that it shows that white supremacy is a huge problem and we have to actively work to combat it,” Coleman said.

Drake Student Alexander Peralta-Cornejo said he is frustrated that Painted Street is already chipping.

“If you’re an outsider and you see that symbolic thing broken and chipped, I mean I would push it aside,” Cornejo said.

He said that’s the reason why he and others must continue fighting so that the problem doesn’t get pushed aside again.

“There’s a lot of students that felt very afraid and are still very afraid regardless of who sent whatever note,” Coleman said.

Cornejo said he is one of those students who feels unsafe and there is one thing that could start the process of regaining some sense of safety.

“A huge assembly at the Knapp Center with everyone in there. Every single student. And President Martin acknowledging to every single student that this university does not stand with racism,” Cornejo said.

Coleman said she still has hope for change and the students who started the movement don’t plan on backing down anytime soon.

The Paint It Black Project also released a statement Friday:

DES MOINES, Iowa  —  Drake University says four incidents of racist notes left in dorm rooms appear to be hoaxes, but another unrelated incident is still being investigated as real.

On November 7th, Drake student Keith Walker reportedly received a racist and threatening note in his dorm room.  That case is still being investigated by Drake and Des Moines police.

Shortly after that letter was received, two other Drake students reported being targeted four times by racist notes found in their dorms on November 13th, 15th and 28th.  Drake University announced in a release Friday that all four notes were a hoax perpetrated by one of the alleged victims.

Neither Drake University nor Des Moines Police are releasing the girl’s name but both say charges of misdemeanor harassment are pending.  The student will also face student code of conduct violations which could result in expulsion.

Drake University President Marty Martin released this statement on Friday:

“I am pleased that we have identified the source of the four notes reported out of Herriott Hall, and I am confident in the progress being made with the ongoing investigation. As painful as these recent events have been, they have sparked important discussions and reflection, and have brought us closer together as one Drake community. We all have work to do as we further our commitment to equity and inclusion, but can be proud of our response, our values, and our conviction.”

 

Original Story:

The Des Moines Police Department says a female Drake University student who reported receiving racist notes in her dorm room wasn’t telling the truth about one incident.

Two female Drake students reported finding racist notes slid under the doors of their dorm rooms on November 15th.  On November 28th the same students reported they’d received another similar note.  Des Moines Police say their investigation into that final note revealed one of the victims wasn’t telling the truth.

In a press release on Friday morning, police say the final note “was note received in the manner as it was reported.”  Charges are now pending against one of the alleged victims of the crime.  Police will only describe her as an 18-year old.  Police are continuing to investigate the notes previously received by the students.