Editor’s note: Obscene language is quoted in this story that may make some readers feel uncomfortable, though the word itself is omitted.
The Shippensburg University Police Department filed six charges against an SU student on Monday for alleged racial harassment in two separate incidents on campus last month.
Samantha Crouse, 19, of Newville, Pennsylvania, was charged with two counts each of ethnic intimidation, a second-degree misdemeanor, and harassment, a third-degree misdemeanor. She also was charged with two summary counts of disorderly conduct.
According to court documents, Crouse admitted to making the racial comments in both incidents, which occurred on Sept. 17 and Sept. 24
SU police said a car full of people rode past three women near the ShipRec Center, yelling obscenities and the N-word.
The driver was described as a brown-haired white male, while Crouse rode in the passenger seat. Several people rode in the back seat but were unable to be identified, the police report said.
The man was driving a cherry red four-door car, possibly a Chrysler that may have had damage to the hood or paint missing in that area, according to the report.
As two of the victims continued walking to McCune Hall, the car returned, heading in the opposite direction. This time, however, the occupants did not yell anything at them.
The second offense, which was widely discussed on Facebook and elicited an email from SU President Laurie Carter last week, occurred a week later.
On Sept. 24 around 8 p.m., Crouse, surrounded by a group of four to five white males and three white females, shouted the N-word multiple times at two black students outside the Ceddia Union Building (CUB), according to the affidavit of probable cause.
According to the affidavit, one of the victims watched in disbelief and Crouse responded, “Yeah we talking to you, n-----.”
One of the victims began walking toward the group; however, by the time she had approached the UPS Store, the group had moved out of sight.
SU police began investigating the incident after they received a report at 8:30 p.m. They were able to identify Crouse after cross-referencing security video with university databases.
Campus police contacted Crouse on Sept. 26 and she confessed to making the comments in both situations, according to police documents.
The Slate reached out to campus officials Monday morning for comment. Chief External Relations Officer Kimberly Garris responded Monday at 10 p.m., saying charges had been filed in the case.
The Slate is awaiting further comment from President Carter by email. Interim Special Assistant to the President Samuel Frushour said President Carter is willing to conduct an in-person interview, however Oct. 23 is the earliest she can meet.
Donta Truss, SU vice president for enrollment management, student affairs and student success, sent an email to the campus community Tuesday afternoon addressing the incidents.
“A full investigation is ongoing and misdemeanor charges have been filed,” the email read. “The University is also taking appropriate action including conducting a fair and impartial student conduct investigation as outlined by Shippensburg University Student Code and Conduct Process.”
“The university’s department of public safety has been working to enhance security across campus by updating and expanding the security camera infrastructure. Installation begins this week. And, community policing efforts will enhance our sense of community and build a culture of trust with students on and off campus,” Truss continued.
“All students must abide by local, state and federal laws and with all published university policies, procedures and rules. Violators will be subject to disciplinary action through the university student conduct process and/or the appropriate civil or criminal proceedings.”
Truss ended the email by reminding students that the university offers confidential support services for students, faculty and staff.
Crouse is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge H. Anthony Adams on Oct. 28.