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CMU president addresses allegations of racism on campus

(WJRT)
Published: Jun. 15, 2020 at 6:00 PM EDT
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(06/15/2020)- “If you're acknowledging there is a problem on campus, rather than just sweeping it under the rug, then that's good," said CMU alumni, Adeze Ekowa.

Adeze Ekowa graduated from Central Michigan University in 2019,but the experience of her time there- lingers.

"I feel like I surrounded myself with people who were, their main goal was to graduate. I joined a lot of organizations that were stemmed in diversity, building bridges between different groups of people, but it was also instances where it would be micro-aggression or there would be racism going on in the school that people really wouldn't address," Ekowa said.

An experience she said was shared by other black students on campus.

"I've had other people tell me that they've had other racist incidents at CMU where they've felt like the resident hall directors really didn't take them seriously. Kind of gas-lighting them, seemed like the problem wasn't as big they were making it to be," she said

Screenshots taken from a student group chat in 2015-- are examples of what Ekowa calls racist behavior by fellow students- that she said University officials ignored.

"I showed it to the RHD and talked to him and he basically said what do you want me to do? What can we do, because there's really nothing we can do," she said.

Ekowa said another racially charged incident involved her roommate, who she says her the N-word. She says when told, her RA about the incident-she felt he sided with her roommate.

"They think you're aggressive are you aggressive. And I was like, she called me the N-word. He said, that's not cool, but do you feel like you came off aggressive?" Ekowa said.

University President Dr. Bob Davies addressed the issue of racism on the campus of CMU Sunday.

Saying in part-- "that he is saddened by their stories and the incidents described, should never happen to any person, and should never have occurred at a university that seeks to be an inclusive community of scholars," Davies said in the statement.

Davies apologized to the students, faculty and staff "who felt invisible or unwelcome" made "a promise to do better," Davies said.

He also went on to say they would be investigating the stories students shared.

Ewoka said she is glad CMU is finally addressing the issue.

"I think it's very good because you can't deny the past because if you deny the past, then you are ignorant to what can happen in the future," Ekowa said.

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