Last fall, San Jose State University students were outraged to learn that a black student was taunted for months in his dormitory room. The university pledged to do more to create a racially inclusive environment and to respond promptly to incidents of bigotry or harassment.
On Monday, minority students held a rally to suggest that the university isn't doing so. The students allege that the university has been slow to respond to an incident in which a member of the university's foundation board is reported to have said "I contribute to the university because these little Latinas do not have the DNA to be successful." The students say no action has been taken against the board member.
Mo Qayoumi, the president, released this statement: "The incident itself involves remarks by a member of the Tower Foundation Board during a meeting in February with a small group of SJSU staff members, including a member of my Cabinet. These alleged remarks were the subject of some follow up discussion, and informal remedies were discussed at various levels. In August, a formal complaint was lodged with our Human Resources office and a formal external review has been ongoing since then. A report based on that review was provided to my office just days ago, and we are now closely reviewing it to determine appropriate next steps. We are especially sensitive to issues of tolerance and civility in the wake of the racially motivated actions against a student in our residence halls in 2013. Although I know some have been frustrated by a perceived lack of action since this incident occurred, we owe it to everyone to thoughtfully, thoroughly and factually determine what occurred before taking action."
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