KEY POINTS

  • Racist robocalls have targeted staff at Columbia University and Barnard College
  • Calls came from a white supremacist group
  • Calls make repeated reference to the death of Barnard student Tessa Majors during a robbery

Barnard staff and faculty reportedly have received racist robocalls from a white supremacist group following the stabbing death of Tessa Majors, who was killed during a botched robbery attempt, the school said Friday.

Barnard posted a statement on Columbia University’s website saying the calls targeted both Barnard and Columbia staff and refer to Majors, who was stabbed to death Dec. 11 in Morningside Park.

The school said in its official statement:

“We have become aware that robocall messages from a white supremacist group were received on many faculty and staff landlines at Barnard and may have been received by a small number of Columbia faculty and staff as well. The contents of this message, related to Tess Majors’ recent death, are abhorrent and viciously racist. We write to let you know that we are actively looking into this with the NYPD and are working to block the caller.  If you have received this type of message or receive one in the future, please let us know. We take this attack on our values extremely seriously.”

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio denounced the calls on Twitter.

Majors' body was found by a Columbia University security officer. A suspect, 13, was arrested on Dec. 12, and allegedly admitted to the robbery, providing details about his two accomplices, both 14.

One was reportedly taken into custody on Dec. 12, but was released due to lack of evidence. Another suspect was arrested Thursday.

Columbia University Columbia University says it can no longer administer a scholarship created in 1920 that stipulates that all recipients be Caucasians from Iowa. Photo: Reuters