An event at an Indiana university featuring actress Jenna Fischer was interrupted Tuesday as students marched through the auditorium expressing concerns over racist incidents in and around campus.
Fischer was speaking during the Ubben Lecture Series at DePauw University when protesters said they blew a whistle and had students scatter across the room, according to FOX59 Indiana. The students stood up saying “I am not safe” and some held a banner, which read: “#DePauwKKK.”
The demonstration came after a string of racial incidents on campus. A racist threat was discovered in a restroom at a university events center, and a homophobic and anti-Semitic scrawling was found in a separate bathroom on campus. Meanwhile, a student engaged in “offensive behavior” at a nearby bar, and a racial slur was also formed by rocks at a park. There had been one more incident before Fischer’s lecture, according to FOX59.
Fischer was interrupted several times while trying to speak and she said she was told prior to her speech that there may be some sort of disruption taking place.
“In my personal opinion, oftentimes justice requires disruption and interruption of our scheduled lives,” she told the audience, according to the Indy Star. “I don’t know what to say except that I’m so sorry.”
Fischer, an Indiana native and star of “Splitting Up Together” empathized with the protesters.
“In my personal opinion, oftentimes justice requires disruption and interruption of our scheduled lives.”
“I just can’t imagine feeling unsafe at my school like that, like with what I heard tonight, it’s really serious and it’s unfair,” she said.
Ken Owen, the series’ coordinator and the university president’s special adviser, said the students’ voices were heard.
“I just want people to know that DePauw is a very diverse place that’s committed to its diversity and we’re going to get to the bottom of this, and these kind of conversations are going to continue, and they’re obviously going to be painful ones, but we’re determined to keep the dialogue going,” he said.