Home Campus Student Senate member receives a death threat, body discusses preventative actions

Student Senate member receives a death threat, body discusses preventative actions

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Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones addresses death threats made against Senate member. Photo by Bo Kuhn

A member of Senate received anonymous harassment notes in her office that called her homophobic slurs and threatened her life.

Student Senate suspended legislation at the body’s Wednesday meeting to discuss a death threat made against one of its members.

Last Thursday, Senate Appropriations Commissioner Anna Ayers received an anonymous note in her office that she said “expressed extreme hatred … because of who I am.”

The following Monday morning, she received another message, this time one threatening her life. The notes specifically focused on her identity as a member of the LGBT community. She suspected the notes came from another member of Senate, saying the attack came “from within [the Senate].”

“I have no interest in hearing from any of you that you are sorry that this happened, or that you can’t believe it happened at all,” Ayers said. “Instead, I want each of you to do everything you can make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Moving forward, the Senate has decided to end the open-space practice of their offices in Baker University Center and are replacing their locks with electronic ID swipers, similar to the dorms. This would track who comes in and out of the office and when they do so.

They said that they would also set “open hours,” where students could come and go from the space within a limited time frame, which the body would decide later.

After statements by Ayers, Student Senate President Maddie Sloat, Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones and members of Senate held roundtable discussions regarding personal experiences with harassment and ideas about how senate and Ohio University should prevent this from happening again. They aim to use the notes from these discussions to build a plan on how to deal with issues of harassment toward minority communities.

Hall-Jones said it was “a sign of privilege” on the part of Student Senate and Ohio U at large to think that something like this couldn’t happen here.

“I don’t think it’s ultimately altered my perception because of things like this, people coming together and saying like we’re not gonna tolerate this,” Hall-Jones said. “We’re not gonna let this happen anymore.”

Her optimism was contrary to the overall sentiment expressed by the room, which was described as “hopeless” by a member of the body when discussing emotions during the roundtable.

Student Senate will hold all events previously planned for this week on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

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5 Comments

  1. Jeff Jefferson

    October 5, 2018 at 2:55 PM

    Very articulated and easy to read, the fact that the recipient of the letter decided to make this an example instead of freaking out and playing exclusively the victim is inspiring, hopefully to others as well. I understand how there are numerous problems on campus, and this is a very appropriate way of addressing them. I expect more articles of similar quality.

    Reply

    • Jim K

      October 9, 2018 at 7:16 PM

      She wrote them to herself and she’s being charged by law enforcement for making a false report.

      Reply

    • Son of Jeff

      October 9, 2018 at 8:03 PM

      Jeff, do you feel like a dupe now? The girl made it all up, that’s why she didn’t “freak out.” Although she most certainly did “play the victim.” I hope she goes to prison, though she won’t, and I hope that useful idiots like you take a step back and a deep breath.
      I expect no more comments from you of a similar quality.

      Reply

  2. David

    October 9, 2018 at 8:01 PM

    Turns out she sent the letters to herself and she is now being charged for it.

    Reply

  3. Free_D3

    October 10, 2018 at 9:36 PM

    She went to the ballsy ford school of honesty. She should get avanetti to represent her.

    Reply

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