ASHLAND, Ore.– Students at Southern Oregon University are voicing their concerns about overt racism targeting minority students.
During a meeting on campus Thursday night, students shared their concerns after the n-word was found written on a black student’s door in the dorms. The university’s Black Student Union say it was targeting one of their members.
Bathscheba Duronvil, president of BSU, says there have been multiple incidents of hate speech at the school. This one occurred last month.
But many students say they were only made aware of this incident this week.
“SOU didn’t tell us,” said Duronvil. “Nobody told us until they’re like we’re going to have a training on it and I’m like, ‘Oh, ok that was very random.'”
The university put together an intervention meeting on Monday for students living in the dorm where the incident occurred. But students say these meetings came weeks after the incidents occurred.
“The school sends out daily emails every day at 12 p.m. with announcements,” said Lusitania Siale, a freshman and member of BSU. “There are dozens of emails we get every single day. Never once has there ever been any mention of this event.”
Siale is a member of both BSU and the Latino Student Union at the university. After Thursday’s meeting, she says there’s frustration because high-level school administrators weren’t present.
“Insulting to us because it’s your job,” she said. “Our tuition money goes towards paying you to make sure that we’re taken care of.”
School spokesperson Joe Mosely said he was at the meeting. He assures the school is doing everything it can.
“People are very determined to get to the bottom of it but even more so to make it a teaching moment and help people understand how hurtful that kind of language is. That speech.”
Mosely says there have been multiple incidents of hate speech all in the same dorm area within the last month or so. A swastika was even drawn at one point.
When asked, he couldn’t explain why students weren’t notified immediately.
“Not sure why that wasn’t done,” he said. “I’m assuming that it probably was not normal policy to do that when a report of bias comes in.”
The school says it has open investigations into all of the recorded cases. SOU says the safety of all of its students is of the utmost importance.
But students are still not happy with what they’re calling a lack of transparency and safety and minority students are demanding more action be taken.
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