UPDATED WITH NEW INFO: African-American and other minority students and faculty at Purdue University in West Lafayette are fed up at repeated incidents of racial harassment, racial slurs and hate crimes on campus. And they’re speaking out forcefully. 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. Appearing on Afternoons with Amos, Professor Dr. Christopher Warren told Amos and 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, less than a day after Monday’s protest, Purdue police were investigating 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. UPDATE: On Wednesday’s Afternoons with Amos, Amos read a statement from Purdue President and former Governor Mitch Daniels on these racial incidents. Then Amos talked live with Purdue Dean of Students Dr. Danita Brown who talked about Purdue’s commitment o racial tolerance.
In the interview with Amos, Dr. 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 aren’t feeling the same commitment to diversity from President Daniels. Protestors left in Daniels’ office seven demands, including one they want acted upon by this Friday. That first demand is: “A public statement by the Purdue president in print, video and campuswide email “denouncing the hateful acts by racist vandals.” “The president must also articulate a zero-tolerance stance against all racist acts.” If protestors don’t get a response from Purdue by Friday, the group will “escalate our campaign.” Other demands 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.
Click Below to Read Article from the Lafayette newspaper. Lafayette Journal Courier Story on Protests on Racism At Purdue