Cornell University is investigating a report that the president of Cornell Republicans was attacked just after Donald Trump’s election.
The evening after the election, sophomore Olivia Corn, president of Cornell University College Republicans, said she was shoved to the ground while leaving a meeting and heading to her dorm room.
“Out of nowhere I was on my phone and looking at my email and out of nowhere I felt two hands grab my shoulders and just sort of threw me to the ground, and they were yelling ‘Fuck you racist bitch, you support a racist party,’” Corn said.
She said the attacker ran away after the incident, and she did not see his or her face. She reported the incident to Cornell police the next day.
John Carberry, senior director of media relations at Cornell, confirmed Wednesday that the university is investigating Corn’s case. No suspects have been identified in connection with the case yet, Carberry said. The university also said there have been no other similar complaints reported since Nov. 8.
Corn said this was not the first time she has been harassed for her political stance. Corn and Cornell University College Republicans have been in the spotlight a few times this year in local and national media, which Corn said has made her easily identifiable on campus.
“People yell in my face all the time. I get random messages telling me what I should and should not be doing on Facebook, in my email,” Corn said. “I’ve had a history of people not liking me so much.”
After Corn was quoted in a Cornell Daily Sun article in May saying she would vote for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, she said she received death threats.
Cornell Republicans were the focus of national headlines after they broke from their party and endorsed third-party candidate Gary Johnson instead of Trump. Within a day of the announcement, the New York Federation of College Republicans voted to remove the Cornell group from the organization.
However, the decision was quickly reversed after the chair of the NYFCR resigned, and Cornell University College Republicans were reinstated after another vote.
Recently, Cornell Republicans hosted Rick Santorum as a fall keynote speaker. Santorum was met with protesters who called him “racist, sexist and anti-gay.”
Though Corn said she was uninjured, the attack has left her feeling nervous to walk around campus alone. She now carries an alarm with her.
“It definitely scared me,” Corn said. “I’m afraid to walk by myself at night anymore. … I don’t feel that safe or comfortable anymore. I didn’t have that alarm for a day and I realized how scared I was to walk without it.”
Corn said she has been surprised she has received so much “flak,” as she considers herself a moderate Republican, who is pro-gay marriage, pro-choice and does not deny climate change.
Corn is home in Manhattan for winter break, and said she feels more comfortable coming forward with her story now that the semester is over and she’s not on campus.
Despite the incident, Corn said she will continue to serve as president of Cornell Republicans.
The university is urging anyone with information to contact Cornell police at 607-255-1111.
Featured image provided by Olivia Corn (on left).