Oregon police investigate assault of transgender college student

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 24, 2015 9:21 PM

By Shelby Sebens

PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - A transgender Oregon college student was assaulted at a private liberal arts school in Portland over the weekend in an attack that happened at about the same time a black student was punched by three white men, authorities said on Tuesday.

The student, who has not been identified, was assaulted early on Saturday morning at Lewis & Clark College, in Portland, campus officials said in a statement, adding that the student was "physically safe and receiving support."

Portland Police Bureau spokesman Greg Stewart said he had few details about the assault. A school official said the assault was reported to campus authorities by the victim's friend.

Portland police were already investigating the assault of a 26-year-old black student by three white men near the campus pool, as well as racist remarks and threats over the social media application Yik Yak directed at students and staff at Lewis & Clark.

The investigations were ongoing and it was not yet known whether they were related, Stewart said.

To the north, in Washington state, Western Washington University canceled classes on Tuesday after officials found hate-filled online messages targeting minority students.

The threats and attacks across the Northwest come amid heightened racial tensions on U.S. college campuses.

Lewis & Clark College President Barry Glassner said in a statement on Tuesday that the school is demanding that Yik Yak make available to law enforcement the identities of those who made the threats.

"Today, across our country, colleges and universities are being challenged - and correctly so - to do more to fight racism and intolerance and prejudice, and to promote diversity and inclusion," Glassner said. "The pain being felt here has existed in this country and world for too long. We, including Lewis & Clark, have much more to do."

(Reporting by Shelby Sebens in Portland, Oregon; Editing by Eric M. Johnson and Lisa Shumaker)