University of Texas
4:54 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

UT: No Proof of 'Bleach Bombs' in West Campus Water Balloon Attacks


The corner of W. 23rd and Pearl Streets, the approximate location of last week's water balloon attack. View Larger Map.

So-called “bleach bomb” attacks on the UT campus may not have happened as thought.

Last week, a UT student was hit by a balloon while walking down near a private dorm near West 24th Street –similar to an attack last fall. The incidents sparked protests against racism and conversations over whether UT is a hostile environment for minority students.

But UT officials say that according to preliminary findings, interviews and lab results, there is no evidence that bleach was used, or the attacks were racially motivated in either incident.

Gregory Vincent, UT’s Vice President for Diversity and Community Enrichment, said the university has investigated both incidents with UT and Austin Police Department – and based on the student’s clothes or on the balloon remnant, it found no evidence of bleach.

“After last fall’s incident, there were several students who did come forward and were held accountable for their action. But they were very clear that there was no bleach in the balloon,” Vincent says. “There were water balloons. Basically [they] are doing it as a college prank rather than any kind of malice or bad intentions.”

Vincent said their investigation shows that both white students and students of color have been hit by a balloon around campus.

UT says it will keep investigating  thismost recent incident along with Austin and campus police. Vincent said final lab results should be ready in a week or two.

You can find the UT's official statement on the incidents here.