A protest Wednesday by minority students at Kansas University has administrators scrambling for their schedule books to accommodate meetings with student leaders on campus.
Judith Ramaley, executive vice chancellor, said Thursday that she would be willing to juggle her schedule to meet with students about ways to improve the campus environment for minority students. She met with several students Thursday.
Mark McCormick and John Lewis, leaders of Black Men of Today, met with Ramaley, Chancellor Gene Budig and David Ambler, vice chancellor for student affairs, Wednesday morning. After the meeting, McCormick said he was glad the administration had listened to their ideas.
Ambler said they planned to continue meeting with student leaders about the issue.
"Meetings are important,'' he said. ``Talking is important. We will try to respond immediately to the groups that are the most upset."
Students' frustrations came to a boiling point when Ann Dean, a St. Louis sophomore, reported that she was struck and racially insulted March 30 by a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon, 1301 West Campus Rd. Dean, who was delivering two pizzas to the fraternity, said Matthew Willenborg, a St. Louis freshman, knocked a pizza out of her hands and racially slurred her.
About 500 protesters met with Budig in Strong Hall Wednesday and demanded action by the university.
Andrea Katzman, organizer of Students Concerned about Discrimination, met with Ramaley Wednesday afternoon. Representatives of several groups also met with Ramaley and other administrators to discuss how the university should react to incidents of discrimination and racism on campus.
"It was a fairly widespread group," Ambler said. "I think communication has improved."
Officials were to meet at 4 p.m. today, and part of the meeting was expected to focus on the campus climate. A second meeting between Katzman and Ramaley also is planned.