A large group of students held a peaceful demonstration in the administration building at Colgate University protesting acts of racism and bias that occurred on campus and by Colgate students on social media. The protest was initiated after racial and homophobic slurs were yelled on campus. Subsequent internet posts included “I don’t want Blacks at this school” and “Niggers be complaining.”
In response, Jeffrey Herbst, president of Colgate University, stated that “bias incidents and racism, while not unique to Colgate, are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. They have no place on a college campus, and they have no place at Colgate. Prejudice can devastate our community: It chills the campus climate, making members of our community feel unwelcome, shackles the mind with stereotypical thinking and bigotry, and keeps us from reaching our true potential as caring, intelligent people who are prepared to live in an increasingly global and diverse society.”
In response to the protesters, President Herbst said, “we have heard you and we will join you in the common goal of creating a campus environment that is welcoming and supportive of all of our students.”
The latest Department of Education data shows that Blacks make up 4 percent of the 2,900 undergraduate students at Colgate.
Update: The protest ended on September 26 after the administration and the students agreed to a 21-point plan of action to make the Colgate campus a more inclusive community.