YPSILANTI, Mich. (WXYZ) — Christopher Casillas was up early Monday morning doing some work in his role as a resident advisor in Best Hall when he spotted a black doll hanging from a belt over a shower rod in the bathroom he shares with two suite mates.
"It was actually hung by its neck with multiple knots attached to it," said Casillas who joined a few dozen students and staff members outside the dormitory Tuesday afternoon to talk about the incident.
Casillas said he's learned that the student who hung the doll is the girlfriend of one of his suite mates who lives in another part of Best Hall.
University officials said the student responsible told investigators that it was done as a "prank" and was not meant to be malicious or racist.
In a statement, officials also said, "Eastern Michigan takes this matter very seriously. There is absolutely no place at Eastern for hateful and racist actions, regardless of their intent. At this time, the University continues to investigate the incident and will take appropriate steps upon completion of the investigation."
"That is a hate crime," said EMU student Angel Gazaway. "That was a threat on his life. If that's a joke, please explain."
"I don't see how that would be a joke," said Casillas.
"If you can do that, what else can she do?" said student Kya Fordham who, like other students gathered outside Best Hall today, wants to see the university expel the student responsible.