Bananas Put on Black Students' Doors at Temple University in Possible Racial Intimidation

Student government organizes a forum on diversity and inclusion

Two possible incidents of racial intimidation that involved bananas outside the dorm rooms of black students at Temple University occurred this week and the university has found the person responsible.

The first incident occurred Monday evening at Morgan Hall, one of the victims posted on Twitter. The Philadelphia university confirmed Friday that university police are investigating whether the act was racially motivated.

A second, similar incident occurred at the same dormitory later in the week, Temple News reported.

Two roommates who say they were targeted because they are black say they confronted the student who placed the bananas. They say his excuse was that he threw the banana in the air and it landed on the door handle. The roommates told NBC10 they want the freshman suspended for his actions.

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Sarah Madaus, the communications director for Temple Student Government, said she wanted to “express how deeply disturbed we are by the racism and intimidation that was demonstrated that evening,” in reference to the first incident Sept. 11.

“As a student body, we must condemn such hateful behavior and in the face of adversity, rise above and continue to educate and support each other,” Madaus said in a statement Wednesday. “We encourage all students to speak up and speak out against racism, white supremacy, and bigotry.”

She also said that the student government is organizing a forum on diversity and inclusion at Temple.

A university spokesman said university police, as well as housing and residential life staff, are looking into the incidents.

"Temple University will not tolerate unlawful discrimination or harassment in the workplace, academic setting or its programs or activities based on an individual’s age, color, disability, marital status, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information or veteran status," according to the statement from spokesman Brandon Lausch.

The college says roughly 12 percent of its students are African-American.

A similar incident occurred this year at American University in Washington, D.C., where bananas hanging by nooses were found around the campus after a black woman became the college's first African-American student body president.

The Associated Press Contributed to this report. 

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