NEW INFO! PURDUE PRESIDENT SPEAKS OUT: Purdue University President Mitch Daniels met with African-American and other minority students and faculty at Purdue University in West Lafayette who have been fed up at repeated incidents of racial harassment, racial slurs and hate crimes on campus. Daniels, the former Indiana Governor, not only met privately with a small group of Black and minority students about the issue, but he emerged from the meeting and spoke directly to protestors gathered outside the University’s Hovde Hall Administration building. The Lafayette Journal-Courier newspaper reported that Daniels directly addressed the issues protestors brought forth. And promised to directly deal with the issue. The newspaper reported that protestors applauded Daniels as he began to speak.
“I think there’s the prospect of something very positive coming here,” the Journal-Courier quoted Daniels telling protestors. “The values that the group and I have been discussing are very, very broadly shared across this campus. We’ve said in the plainest English I know how to use, and I’m told the plainest English ever used here, what we do and don’t find acceptable, what we do and don’t welcome at Purdue. Now the idea is to try to find ways to draw the entire campus community, and by that I mean everybody — staff, faculty and our neighbors around this community of 50,000 that’s right here.”
The situation at Purdue began Monday, April 22nd when nearly 300 protestors gathered in front of Hovde Hall, Purdue’s Administration building to protest and demand seven steps to reduce racial incidents and improve diversity at the university. The next day, April 23rd, Purdue Professor Dr. Christopher Warren, one of the protests’ leaders appeared on Afternoons with Amos and told listeners harrowing stories about blatant hate crimes and racial incidents on campus. Including defacing a photo of the school’s most distinguished Black professor with the “N-Word”. To make matters worse, the same day as Warren’s interview, Purdue police were investigated another hate crime incident. A placard left by protesters as part of a display in front of Hovde Hall was defaced with a racial slur and a stick figure drawing of a body hanging from a tree. The FBI has said that the number of hate crimes reported by Purdue is the second highest for any university in the country. On Wednesday, April 24th, Afternoons with Amos interviewed Purdue’s Dean of Students Dr. Danita Brown about the protests.
Dean Brown talked about Purdue’s commitment to racial tolerance. Amos also read a statement from Mitch Daniels on the racial incidents. Daniels had been out of town during the early part of the week.In the interview with Amos, In his Tuesday interview, protest leader Warren said that students had been pleased with efforts by former Purdue President Dr. France Cordova, who was a minority, for the steps she took in dealing with bigotry and fostering diversity. However minority students and staff weren’t feeling the same commitment to diversity from President Daniels. The top demand by protestors was that President Daniels make a public, visible statement against racist acts. President Daniels did do that on Friday. Other demands by protestors, which Daniels says will be discussed include: Doubling the number of minority faculty and students over the next 10 years. Require an undergraduate course on race and racism for all students, without exception. Require a mandatory workshop during Boiler Gold Rush (fraternity and sorority recruitment periods) on racial bias events. Create explicit policies with regard to racism in the Purdue Code of Conduct “to ensure a zero tolerance policy for all bigoted and prejudiced actions. Require workshops and procedures for faculty and staff regarding race and racism on campus. And be completely transparent about hate crimes and identify groups and individuals that have committed hate crimes.
In the interview Dr. Warren gave examples of bigotry and insensitivity by Purdue students towards Blacks and other minorities. Painting a picture of a campus where intolerance and open racial dislike is tolerated and where punishment for such actions is slim and none. Meanwhile Dean of Students Brown emphasized that Purdue would discipline students who violated the University’s conduct standards which includes harassment on the basis of race, gender, orientation. And emphasized the University’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and tolerance. Click the Link To Hear Dr. Warren’s Interview With Amos on the Bad Racial Climate at Purdue. Runs 20 Minutes
Click the Link to Hear Dean of Students Brown’s Interview With Amos on Purdue’s Response. Runs 16 Minutes @2013 WTLC/Radio One.