September 27, 2000

Four Asian Women Harassed on Campus Last Weekend

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Four Asian female alumnae were harassed at the intersection of Central Avenue and Campus Road Friday evening as they returned to campus for last weekend’s Homecoming festivities.

Julie Y. Chon ’98, a former student-elected trustee, told The Sun that a car of white males pulled up alongside her vehicle while it was stopped at a red light. The males then screamed “Asian ethnic slurs” from their car at Chon and her three friends.

Chon described the males’ vehicle as a four-door sedan, but said she did not definitively recall much more about the physical aspects of the car.

“We were really stupid not to look at the license plate,” Chon said.

She added that she thought the males “looked really young. I can’t even say if they were locals or students.”

The four women did not report the incident to the Cornell University Police (CUPD) because “it just seemed like a random and immature prank. I didn’t really think about it until I heard what happened to this other girl,” said Chon, referring to the Asian female who was the victim of a Sept. 16 sexual assault that CUPD believes was motivated by racial bias. Chon learned about that attack Saturday afternoon. She called the two incidents a “disturbing pattern.”

“I never experienced anything like that while I was at Cornell,” Chon said.

Both Susan H. Murphy ’73, vice president for student and academic services, and Randall H. Hausner, Captain of CUPD, said that their respective offices had not been notified of this or any other bias-related incidents directed toward female Asians that may have taken place since last week.

“[The sexual assault] is being looked at as an isolated incident right now,” Murphy said. “I am not hearing reports where we have had other people come forward [about bias-related incidents].”

CUPD urges anybody with information pertaining to a bias-related incident on campus to call 255-1111.

Archived article by Sun Staff