As police continue to investigate the murder of Barnard College student Tessa Majors in Morningside Park, members of the school's faculty and staff have been bombarded with "abhorrent and viciously racist" robocalls.

Some staff and faculty of Columbia University have also received the calls, according to a message from the university, which sent a message to the overall university community (Barnard is a quasi-independent college under Columbia University's umbrella). The message, sent from university leaders, denounced the robocalls.

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.

Gerald M. Rosberg, Senior Executive Vice President

Suzanne B. Goldberg, Executive Vice President for University Life

James F. McShane, Vice President for Public Safety

Majors, an 18-year-old first-year student, had been walking through Morningside Park on December 11th when she was fatally stabbed. Police said she was killed during an apparent robbery, which involved a few suspects, and managed to climb up the steps towards Morningside Drive and 116th Street, where a Columbia University public safety officer saw her and called the authorities. Majors was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

A 13-year-old has been arrested and charged with felony murder, as well as robbery and weapons possession; police say that he admitted to picking up a knife and giving it to another person in his group, who then stabbed Majors. After hearings in Family Court, a judge ordered that he remain in secure detention. Another teen was questioned but then released, due to lack of evidence.

A third individual was questioned on Thursday but was released into the custody of his attorney. Neighborhood Defenders Services confirmed to Gothamist that they are representing the third person.

The killing comes after community members have seen a recent uptick in violence in the park, including "sucker-punch" attacks earlier this year, and raised questions about the Columbia University's relationship with the community. Geraldine Downey, director of the Center for Justice at Columbia University, and an advocate for restorative justice, said during a vigil in the park, "This is an opportunity to build rather than to break the bridge with our neighbors."