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Archive for Thursday, November 24, 2005

Hundreds rally for diversity in Colorado

November 24, 2005

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— More than 500 students chanting "We want action" rallied outside a University of Colorado administration building Tuesday in support for victims of racist acts on campus.

The students, some faculty members and a parent urged CU administrators to do more to diversify the campus, such as offering $5 million in extra scholarships for minorities, programs geared toward diversity, and training for students and faculty.

"If these demands are not met, we will be forced to take alternative measures," Kerry Kite said Tuesday night at another gathering of about 200 students. Kite co-founded the student group Shoulder 2 Shoulder, which promotes diversity.

Kite said she was not threatening violence, but said, "It will be something you have never seen before. ... Something you don't want to see."

The afternoon rally came after fliers with racist messages were found in campus buildings Sunday. Last week student government tri-executive Mebraht "Mo" Gebre-Michael, who is black, reported receiving an e-mail threatening her life if she runs for office again.

CU also has been dealing with other reports of hostility toward minorities including an assault on a student by a man shouting racial slurs at him in June.

During the rally, CU Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Ron Stump urged anyone with knowledge of who was responsible for the e-mail or fliers to come forward.

He said CU works hard to recruit and retain minority students and faculty.

About 2 percent of CU students are black, and about 13.8 percent are minorities. About 40 percent of new faculty are minorities.

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