WXXI AM News

UR Students Rally Against Racism

Nov 20, 2015

Dozens of students on the University of Rochester campus gathered Friday to address racism.

The march from the Frederick Douglass Leadership House to college President Joel Seligman’s office  was a response in part to activism that began recently at the University of Missouri and other campuses around the country.

But Friday’s march and rally was more focused on the racism students feel is occurring at the U of R.

Posts were found on the anonymous social media app,  Yik Yak, last semester that included racist comments and threats.  Aleem Griffiths is the Vice President of one of the organizations that was upset by these posts.  He says the administration didn’t do enough to fight back against the people who made these comments.

"There was a lot of hate on Yik Yak and we told the administration about that but they did nothing until recently when the University of “Mizzou,” ...."we all know that their president resigned, that’s when our president reached out to us, and maybe because he’s in fear of his job, I don’t know but it’s just too late.”

U of R spokeswoman, Sara Miller said that investigations into these Yik Yak postings are still ongoing and trying to determine whether they broke the law.  

The students who marched presented a list of demands to the administration that include having the university block anonymous social media apps from the UR server and creating a comprehensive racial awareness curriculum.

University president Seligman says he received the petition and looks forward to reviewing it carefully and will release a statement next week.  He also says that there is no place for racism at the University of Rochester, and he says it must be a campus that is “welcoming, respectful and safe for all.”