WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Purdue University reported the second-highest
number of hate crimes among the country’s colleges last year, according to
statistics compiled by the FBI.
The seven alleged hate crimes reported on the West Lafayette campus in 2011
were the most among Indiana colleges, the Journal & Courier reported Sunday.
So far in 2012, Purdue police have documented 12 hate crimes.
The FBI report said five of the incidents reported at Purdue reflected
racial bias and two were related to religion. The offenses involved assault,
intimidation and vandalized property.
The largest number of hate crimes last year and this year were reported
against blacks, closely followed by Jews. Other alleged victims included
Muslims, Asians, whites and a gay man, the newspaper said. The majority were
acts of vandalism.
A hate crime is defined in federal law as a “criminal offense against a
person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias
against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.”
One hundred hate crimes were reported in Indiana last year, including 13 on
Besides Purdue, hate crimes were reported at Indiana State, Indiana
University-Southeast and Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis.
Purdue officials attributed the number of local reports to increased
awareness and an online reporting system created in 2010, when Purdue
reported 11 hate crimes.
“I am confident that we are getting better reporting now,” campus Police
Chief John Cox said. “It is unfortunate but in my experience some crimes
against people — sexual assault, battery — go unreported, but now we have
software that is in place. We have the ability for anyone on campus, for
visitors, to report bias incidents now.”
Tyrell Connor, president of the Purdue Black Graduate Student Association,
said the number of hate crime reports show Purdue does have a problem
handling discrimination. In the past year, students and staff have held
rallies against racial incidents on campus and formed an anti-racism
“What this immediately says to me is that Purdue’s campus creates an
environment that allows for certain individuals to feel comfortable to
commit these hate acts,” he said. “My dream would be to actually sit down
with top university officials and (incoming) President Mitch Daniels and
work together on solving this problem.”
Junior Victoria Loong, a Chinese-American who has criticized classmates’
online insults of Asian students, said statistics are less important than
“Numbers don’t matter; what we’re actually experiencing does,” she said.
The FBI database includes 600 campuses. Of those, 500— including IU-Bloomington
— reported no hate crimes, though IU’s annual security report listed three