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Ohio Dominican Students and Faculty Speak Out About Recent Racist Acts

About 100 people attended an open forum at Ohio Dominican University yesterday afternoon. The town hall style meeting was in response to last week's protest by a group of the school's students.

Last week about a dozen Ohio Dominican students, including members of the Black Student Union, protested against what they say was a lack of action by the university's administration regarding racist acts. A "Whites Only" sign was removed from a bathroom in the university's administration building. And an elevator in a residence hall was closed until swastikas and racial slurs were painted over.

As part of a task force formed by the university's president, students will get the chance to give their thoughts about the recent racist acts and protest.

"I really feel that some of this was blown out of proportion. And I'm kind of disappointed that as a result of this, it has sacrificed our school's credibility," Dylan said.

Tierra Dylan, is a junior. And she said she was horrified at the insensitive acts. Dylan also said she's been approached by several people doubting the school's integrity.

"It hurts me to think that our school, a place that I really feel is not discriminatory outside a few people, is now deemed discriminatory," Dylan said.

Becky Ralph is faculty member in the Natural Sciences department, and said she was glad students felt safe enough to stand up for their beliefs.

"I am saddened by the fact that there was a need for a protest, but I am pleased that people were free enough to do it," Ralph said. Vice president of the school's Black Student Union, Audia Fraley, said she thought Tuesday's forum was fairly positive. But Fraley said she thinks some students mistook last week's protest as a black and white issue.

"I felt that our organization was on trial, instead of the fact that the issue is diversity and representation," Fraley said.

Fraley said she thinks because her organization, the Black Student Union, planned the protest, some students automatically think the demonstration was pitting blacks against whites. But Fraley said that is not the case at all.

"Now all of a sudden it's a black/white issue instead of an issue of the people. Because if I hear one of the other minority groups on campus being called out of their name or going through hardships then I will address it. Because that's the type of organization and that's the type of foundation that Black Student Union is built on," Fraley said.

Fraley said she would like to see more minorities in administration positions like advisors, as well as more multi-cultural organizations on campus.

Vice President for Student Development, Drew Kline, said remarks and questions from both forums will be presented to the presidential task force. Kline said he is not sure if those remarks will be addressed at an additional open meeting.