A student at Bowling Green State University reported what she thought was a Ku Klux Klan rally taking place on campus that ultimately turned out to be a piece of lab equipment covered by a white sheet.
The female student was walking through the campus of Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, when she observed a white sheet through a campus building window, immediately taking video footage and messaging the university’s president on Twitter.
“There’s been an ACTIVE KKK group in Bowling Green, OH since 1922,” the student said, questioning how the presence of a white sheet in a campus building window promotes “diversity and inclusion.”
Upon investigation, university president Mary Ellen Mazey said the reported Klansman was nothing more than a piece of lab equipment covered by a white sheet.
“We looked into this. We discovered it’s a cover on a piece of lab equipment,” she tweeted.
The student, while relieved, expressed regret that the hate group was active in the community, though it is unclear how many times the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan chose a building on the campus of Bowling Green State University to conduct a meeting.
Social media users were quick to mock the student over the ridiculous case of mistaken identity.
A similarly ridiculous incident occurred at the Indiana University Bloomington in April, 2016, when students mistook a priest carrying a rosary for a Klansman carrying a whip.
“There has been a person reported walking around campus in a KKK outfit holding a whip. Because the person is protected under first amendment rights, IUPD cannot remove this person from campus unless an act of violence is committed,” said residential hall advisor Ethan Gill in an email to his students about the supposed threat.
“Please PLEASE PLEASE be careful out there tonight, always be with someone and if you have no dire reason to be out of the building, I would recommend staying indoors if you’re alone.”
After confirming the Klansman was in fact a priest wearing his vestments, Gill suggested he may wait for further confirmation of a reported Klansman sighting before frantically alerting his students to hide indoors.
“In the future, I’m still sending my residents warnings of threats, crime, hate gatherings, and all that but I will wait for a confirmation. But now that there is no danger I can say: this is a hilarious miscommunication.”