Students interrupt Jenna Fischer event at DePauw to protest recent racial incidents on campus

Posted at 10:07 PM, Apr 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-18 13:31:41-04

GREENCASTLE, Ind. -- Several dozen students interrupted an event featuring actress Jenna Fischer at DePauw University Tuesday to protest recent racial incidents on and near campus.

Many of them held signs saying they are "afraid for their lives" after recent events. 

Fischer, star of the new ABC sitcom "Splitting Up Together", was a guest at the university as part of the Timothy and Sharon Ubben Lecture Series to discuss her new book, "The Actor's Life: A Survivor's Guide."

University Spokesman Ken Owen, who was moderating the lecture with Fischer, said about 15 minutes into the program a group of students got up and interrupted the event  by whistling, shouting and saying they were afraid for their safety on campus because of the incidents. 

LATEST | WATCH: Protesters interrupt DePauw president during press conference

Last week, a hateful message was written on a bathroom wall at the university. The message, which read " All ******* must die -KKK," was found at The Inn at DePauw, a public building on campus. Other anti-Semitic and homophobic messages were also discovered.

The video above was captured during the Tuesday evening protests by Shannon Samson.

Another incident being investigated by the university involved a hateful slur written in rocks at the DePauw nature park, which is owned by the university. 

Owen said there was a meeting with the school president Tuesday over the slurs and they expect more meetings in the future. 

DePauw University issued the following statement on social media after the Jenna Fischer event:

Today, students in our community, exercising their right to be heard, expressed their fear and frustration during a community leaders' meeting this afternoon and a celebrity guest lecture this evening.

Investigations as to who wrote racist messages in campus restrooms and in the DePauw Nature Park continue through our Office of Public Safety and the Greencastle Police Department. We ask anyone with information to contact us at

Students who need support or a space to gather together can go to the Hartman House or Center for Diversity and Inclusion. Campus administrators are meeting at this time and will continue to update the community. Safety and security remain our highest priority and we will continue working through this situation.

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