(CNN)Stanford University is looking into reports of a noose found hanging near a campus residence -- which could become a hate crime investigation.
Over the weekend, Stanford Department of Public Safety deputies found a white rope, about three feet long, suspended from a tall bush, according to a statement released by the California university Tuesday.
The noose was found near a residence for summer students.
The incident is currently being investigated as a "suspicious circumstance," according to the statement, but if more evidence is found, it may be re-classified as a hate crime.
"We feel it is important to state that a noose is recognized as a symbol of violence and racism directed against African American peoples. Such a symbol has no place on our campus," the university said.
A student visiting the campus took pictures and video of the rope.
The university's Department of Public Safety says that the incident is still under investigation.