Last week Anna Ayers spoke out with alarming news… The senior journalism student and commissioner of Ohio University’s Student Senate Appropriations Commission (funds for student programming) had gone into her office and found a threatening note.
She said it “expressed extreme hatred … because of who I am,” the Athens News reported Sunday.
She said another message she received threatened her life because of her sexual orientation. She said she suspected the threats came “from within [the Senate]” and called on members to take immediate action.
“I have no interest in hearing from any of you that you are sorry that this happened, or that you can’t believe it happened at all,” she said. “Instead, I want each of you to do everything you can make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Her announcement was met with support & swift action by the student body:
The Student Senate responded by ending the open-space orientation of Student Senate offices in Baker Center and moving to replace the locks with electronic ID swipers, Athens News reported.
Those plans may be on hold now though, since news has come out that Ayers has been arrested by Ohio U. police for crying wolf. They haven’t released how they figured out it was her sending the messages to herself, but she’s been charged with three counts of creating false alarms.
Her actions are disturbing on a few levels… false claims are extremely rare compared to those with merit but they stick out & make an easy argument for people to invalidate & discredit those with true accounts. In a way, it’s dangerous for those who really are targets/victims of hate crimes, threats & attacks. Not to mention someone else could have been blamed for the threats she planted because until the OUPD investigation the student senate believed the perpetrator had come from their own ranks. Also, a journalists’s first obligation is to tell the truth. Here she is, a senior about to go out into the world with a journalism degree, and she’s spreading (oh God…) FAAAAAKE NEWWWWWWWS.
The student senate has spoken out since then & it looks like Ayers will have some real problems now.
“We are still processing and encouraging our members to take time to heal and utilize campus support resources right now,” Student Senate President Maddie Sloat said in a statement. “We’re complying with the investigation and OUPD. We hope Anna receives the help that she needs.”
According to OUPD’s report, making false alarms is a first-degree misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Ayers is scheduled to appear in Athens County Municipal Court on Thursday morning.