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Student admits hanging noose in campus library

  • University suspends student who admits hanging noose in library
  • Hundreds attend campus rally to oppose racial intolerance
  • Incident comes weeks after Black History Month was mocked in off-campus party

(CNN) -- The University of California San Diego has suspended a student who admitted to hanging a noose in a campus library, school officials announced Friday.

"We are feeling real pain, and we will take real action," said UCSD chancellor Marye Anne Fox told reporters. "The safety of our students, faculty, and staff is my primary concern."

The student, whose identity was not released, admitted Friday to police at the University of California San Diego that she hung a noose Thursday night in the library, police said.

"Detectives have interviewed the student and taken a statement," UCSD police said in a release. "The investigation is ongoing as we continue to identify and interview witnesses."

After Thursday's discovery, hundreds of people joined a campus rally to oppose racial intolerance. "It's OK to feel hurt and angry about this," said one participant. "We've been silent for too long."

Watch iReport of campus protest

One student said she feared for her safety.

The student's admission came the day after police were alerted to the presence of the noose in a library bookcase at the school. Fox said the admission was a result of "pressure from our UC San Diego community."

"This underscores the fact that our university is banding together," she said.

In a crime alert bulletin, police said they received several reports Thursday around 10:30 p.m. of the noose on the seventh floor of the Geisel Library. It was found hanging in an aisle facing windows.

"Officers spoke with people who were in the area, but no one witnessed the noose being placed on the bookcase," police said in a campus notice.

Hanging a noose with intent to terrorize is a crime, it noted.

On Friday, the school announced several measures it was taking in response to recommendations from its Black Student Union. They include the establishment of a task force on minority faculty recruitment, a new commission to addressing declining African-American enrollment and finding space for an African-American resource center.

"I want to emphasize these are the initial steps, and I realize we have a lot of work ahead of us," Fox said.

The noose incident occurred two weeks after Black History Month was mocked in an off-campus party that was condemned by the school.

It's unclear how long the student is suspended for.