BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — For some students at Indiana University, the days following an attack on an Asian American student on a Bloomington bus have been tough.
"It's been frightening. It's definitely sobering to come face to face with that constant threat of danger," said IU student Isabella Barredo.
The injured student from Carmel was stabbed multiple times in the head while waiting to get off the bus. Police said cameras inside the bus show the victim and the suspect had no interaction before the attack, which community leaders declared "hate-based violence."
The idea the attack could have happened to any of them, and the motivation to make sure it doesn't, is what prompted a large group to rally Saturday in Dunn Meadow and show support for the Asian community living on and off the campus.
"If someone doesn't look like you, it doesn't mean they don't belong here. That doesn't mean they're foreigners," said Parnasi Bandyopadhyay, an IU student. "We belong here just as much as you do. We need to be valued. Our lives need to be respected."
Mary Catherine Carmichael, the deputy mayor of Bloomington, said it's important the whole community gets involved in making the city safer for everyone.
"If you hear something, say something. If you see something, say something. It's incumbent on each of us to be involved and to work to combat racism," said Carmichael.
Students are now pushing for policy changes from the state and the university.
They want to see a hate crime law in Indiana and want IU's structure to submit bias reports to be improved.
"Making sure there's support in place so we don't have to be attacked to be heard," said Bandyopadhyay.
Those at the rally said there's still a lot of work to be done, but believe the rally was a good start.