Students at Atlanta's Morehouse College said they were troubled to hear that four students are facing charges in connection with two recent rapes.
Three of the students are basketball players and the fourth is a former football player.
The news comes as the campus prepares to welcome President Barack Obama as the keynote speaker at the school's graduation ceremony on May 19.
"It's a disgrace on the school," said Malcolm Conner, a junior who knows the four suspects. "Morehouse is a prestigious school, and it's a disgrace we have to go through a girl calling rape on four guys. That's not even their character."
News of the students' arrests quickly spread across campus on Wednesday.
"It's disturbing to a large extent," said Brandon Henderson, who is friends with one of the basketball players facing charges. "Understanding the acquaintance I had with him, no bad run-ins. It's kind of surprising."
An all-male school, Morehouse College is known to promote academic achievement, leadership and respect among students.
"For something like this to be brought upon, to be in the news, it just brings bad vibes, a bad reputation," said student Joshua Thurston. "We have to get it back on the right track."
In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, Morehouse officials wrote: "Morehouse has a zero tolerance policy related to violence of any kind. Violence is the very antithesis of the Morehouse ethos and the values of a Morehouse Man. Morehouse College police are working with the Fulton County District Attorney's Office and will continue to do so until these cases are resolved."
Students said they hope the attention to the alleged rapes will fade as Obama's visit approaches.
"Right now, it's just giving the school a bad rap, a bad name as far as what's going on because Morehouse is known as being a top institution," said Thurston.
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Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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