Tension at IUPUI over handling of student’s claims of harassment

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 8, 2016) -- An IUPUI student says she’s afraid to walk on campus alone, because she claims she’s been harassed and singled out because of her religion.

Students and faculty supporting her held a press conference Friday to demand the chancellor to issue a statement to students that addresses the incidents specific to Haneen. She’s so terrified of what’s happened, she asked that only her first name be used.

Friends representing her Friday, said about three weeks ago, a video and three separate blog posts were published, calling Haneen “a would-be attacker.”

Then, fliers went up all over campus, saying Haneen had ties to an alleged terrorist. They referenced a conference that she helped host as president of the student group “Students for Justice in Palestine.”

“I started thinking, you know, 'this is really happening. Someone is saying these things about me,' said Haneen.

That same day, Haneen and a friend say they began receiving threatening phone calls from an unknown number, with the caller saying Haneen “would be dealt with.”

A university spokesperson says they launched an investigation Sunday, right after the fliers went up.

On Thursday, the chancellor sent a statement, but only to faculty, saying in part, “the university abhors all forms of racism, bigotry and discrimination, including discrimination based on religious beliefs or political views.”

Students and some community advocates said Friday that they're unhappy the message never mentioned Haneen and was never sent to students or staff. They argued for more transparency and believe the entire campus should be involved in the conversation.

A university official says they’re still working to track down the people behind these incidents. They’re also coordinating their investigation with law enforcement.

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