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Syracuse University Announces Measures to Combat Racism

A series of racist incidents on Syracuse University campus last month has forced school officials to take various measures to restore confidence among the community members.

The first incident of racism was reported on November 7 at the Day Hall, a student dormitory, where inappropriate graffiti targeting African-American and Asian communities were found followed by a derogatory graffiti in the physics building bathroom directed toward the Asian community.

Another graffiti of a swastika was reported at the Haven Hall and a student was found yelling “a racial epithet that is derogatory to African Americans.”

The academic affairs division of the university has called for redoubling its efforts to recruit and retain faculty and students from underrepresented communities. It will accelerate curriculum development and approval processes, including the first-year experience course SEM100, and additional course offerings in social difference and social justice.

The division will also work with students and faculty members on curricular changes and use their expertise to address such issues in the classroom along with training and developing them to provide inclusive teaching and services.

“We can’t end all of that at once, but we can certainly chip away at it with intention…. We may be afraid at times, or may even burn out, but fear is not enough to keep us from struggling for a more just campus environment,” Maxwell School Professor Jenn Jackson said.

Last month, the students had organized a sit-in protest at the Barnes Center calling for the expulsion of students involved in the incidents, revision of the school’s current anti-harassment policy, mandatory diversity training for new staff and faculty. Various federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are currently involved in investigating the incidents.

Racism, Diversity are Most Discussed Issues Among Student Editors

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