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Grand Forks Herald, July 4, 1996

BRIEFLY: UND Official: Hate Crimes Increasing

Herald staff reports

UND official: Hate crimes increasing across U.S.

There appears to have been an increase in hate crimes on university campuses across the nation, UND Dean of Students Lillian Elsinga said Wednesday while commenting on the latest of a series of hate crimes on the UND campus.

Elsinga said she monitors Internet exchanges that deal with campus trends, and those exchanges indicate many campuses have seen an increase in hate crimes.

This week, UND student Don Grey Day reported he had received an obscene, racist, threatening letter. In January, a painting of a black man being lynched by the Ku Klux Klan was discovered in a dormitory tunnel, and in February, a male Indian student was assaulted by three white men.

Both Elsinga and UND Campus Police Capt. Wayne Unger said there's no evidence the three racially motivated hate crimes are related.

Elsinga and Unger held a news conference Wednesday to respond to questions from the media about the latest incident.

Unger said it is a crime to write a threatening letter. If the writer is caught, he or she would be charged with either a Class A or a Class B misdemeanor.