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Black Student Assaulted On Oregon College Campus After Social Media Threats

The assault at Lewis & Clark College came three days after campus protests in response to threatening messages aimed at black students that surfaced on Yik Yak.

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Updated on

A 26-year-old black male student from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, was attacked by three people on campus Friday night, police said.

The assault came three days after campus protests in response to threatening messages aimed at black students that surfaced on the anonymous social media platform Yik Yak.

Police responded to a call on campus at 12:49 a.m. Saturday, according to a statement. The victim, who told police he did not wish to be identified, said that around 9 p.m. Friday he was approached by three white, college-age males who “used racial epithets before assaulting him.”

The student escaped and went to his dorm. He told police that he consulted with friends before deciding to go to the authorities. He did not require medical attention.

Authorities have not confirmed a connection between Friday’s incident and the Yik Yak threats.

Police noted in a statement, however, that detectives assigned to investigate crimes of bias are looking into the assault case.

On Nov. 17, Yik Yak messages threatening black students and calling for a return to slavery prompted 200 students to protest with a sit-in on campus, according to Oregon Live.

Lewis & Clark Black Lives Matter, which is not officially affiliated with the nationwide movement, has called upon the campus community to initiate a buddy system to ensure student safety in light of Friday's incident.

buddy system: if you are a white ally and have a car or are willing to walk/drive people safely, fill out this form

One member of the organization told BuzzFeed News that she and several other students were shaken by the incident on Friday night. The student asked to remain anonymous out of concern for her safety.

"It's a chaotic situation. We're in a moment of crisis," she said. "Many people are confused as to how we got to this place."

Oregon State Bar President Richard Spier has issued a statement about the YikYak posts: "We stand by students, faculty, school officials and alumni who are steadfast in their resolve to create campus communities in Oregon that welcome, value and support a diverse student body," he said.

Lewis & Clark College administrators said in a statement that they are "aggressively following up" with officials to identify the anonymous people posting "the troubling, racist messages on Yik Yak."

The college has also increased campus security, and advised students to not walk alone at night.

Tamerra Griffin is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based Nairobi, Kenya.

Contact Tamerra Griffin at

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