Administration’s slow response to racist incidents inadequate

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The UConn administration has not properly responded to a racist incident that occurred at Charter Oak Apartments last week.  File photo/The Daily Campus

The UConn administration has not properly responded to a racist incident that occurred at Charter Oak Apartments last week. File photo/The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus stands with black students at the University of Connecticut. The recent documented racist incident has brought to the forefront what black students at UConn deal with on a regular basis. Contrary to what many may believe, racism is alive and well at UConn and beyond.  

 It is now that all caring, compassionate people must stand with black students and send a message loud and clear: We do not tolerate racism. We fully encourage all of our readers to attend the rally occurring today from 12-2 p.m. on the Student Union Terrace.  

 All students at UConn deserve to feel safe and comfortable while they complete their studies, manage their social lives and engage with extracurriculars. These incidents deny many black students that space.  

 Even worse, the administration’s response to the incident at Charter Oak Apartments — where three white men were videotaped walking through the parking lot yelling the n-word — was painfully slow and underwhelming. The incident occurred last weekend, yet it took until this Friday for President Katsouleas to send a university-wide email condemning the racist act. In that email, he did not lead with a condemnation of the acts. Instead, he first discussed his search for a new Chief Diversity Officer, then mentioned the incident.  

 In addition, the only event the university managed to organize in the wake of the incident was a town hall at Charter Oak Apartments (not a particularly central area of campus), which was run by Residential Life. ResLife is not the arm of the administration with power in this situation. Yes, they can listen and report up the chain, but they have no direct power.  

This low-level response is disrespectful.  

President Katsouleas’ has generally enjoyed a honeymoon in his first months as president.  

The honeymoon ended last week. His administration’s slow, meager response was unacceptable and insulting. There will be a town hall hosted by the NAACP on Monday at 8 p.m. in Schenker Hall. We strongly encourage the President to show up and face the students, along with his planned office hours at the African American Cultural Center next Friday.  

Racism has no place at UConn or anywhere the world. 

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