Last night, multiple Elon resident assistants sent messages to their halls warning students about going outside alone, as there were rumors circulating about three individuals targeting women on campus.

Elon University Campus Police Chief Joe LeMire said three individuals were found making rude comments and “racially charged words.” These individuals were not students, and campus police informed them they were trespassing on university grounds.

A person is considered to have  trespassed when an authorized official provides oral or written notice to a person that the person should not enter or remain on property, according to state legislature policies.

“Guys were making comments and using racially charged words,” LeMire said. “We made contact with and determined that none of them were students. We had a conversation with them saying ‘You’re not welcome on campus.’”

Rumors circulated about the three men, and messages sent from resident assistants to their halls led to concern from students.

“i just wanted to take a second and ask that if you go outside any time tonight, that you do so in pairs or larger groups. there are currently 3 individuals on campus who are targeting girls specifically. PD is working on dealing with them, but i still want everyone as safe as possible!” one message from a senior resident assistant wrote to residents.

Elon News Network reached out to the office of campus police for comment at roughly 11:30 p.m. on March 17, and was told police were actively dispatched and unavailable for comment. Elon News Network then reposted the messages sent from RAs to Instagram and Facebook. 

Campus police did not respond to Elon News Network’s immediate request for comment following the post on the morning of March 18. At 11:35 a.m. on March 18, campus police sent out an e-alert saying, “inaccurate news post stated 3 individuals on campus targeted women.”

LeMire said no one was physically harmed and the situation was handled, and what he deemed to be the inaccuracy of the post was with the phrasing “targeted.”

“No one came forward and said that anybody was ‘targeted,’ and when I mean targeted I would say physically. Like a physical assault, something of that nature,” LeMire said. “We did not send out a message, one, because we didn’t have that targeting of a physical assault, two, the situation was taken care of and they were kicked off campus, and we made contact with them and we were comfortable with that outcome.”

Had it been something of a physical nature, LeMire said they would use the E-Alert system to send a message out.

LeMire said he believes the RAs sending out these messages were just doing what they felt was right.

“I understand that people that posted stuff last night, and what I’ve seen of it, meant well. I think their care of wanting people to be safe and maybe operating off of minimal information, so I don’t fault the compassion and care that people were showing others,” LeMire said. “What I’d want them to do is before sharing that type of stuff is either confirm it through us or make contact with an officer.”

According to campus police, the incident report for these individuals is not yet available.