University of Colorado at Boulder administrators will meet Wednesday with Black Student Alliance members calling for systemwide reform after a racist outburst Sunday by a woman not connected to the campus.
In his “State of the Campus” address Tuesday, CU Boulder Chancellor Phil DiStefano went off-script to say he’s assigned the provost and chief operating officer to meet with student leaders and the Black Student Alliance to “look at training, policies, procedures and campus awareness,” said spokeswoman Candace Smith.
“We have seen their demands, and have had multiple conversations with them as of yesterday, and are going to address them,” Smith said.
Rebekah Krajacic, 33, a white woman who is unaffiliated with the university, harassed a black male student in an Engineering Center study room Sunday, CU police said.
In a video that went viral on social media, Krajacic yelled racial slurs and epithets at the student before a professor told her to leave.
“We’ve had previous interactions with her,” Smith said. “She was camping on our property and might be transient or homeless. We don’t know for sure.”
In announcing her identity, CU police said tips from the public, as well as body-worn video footage, helped them put a name to her face. Police did not say whether charges will be filed.
The student who was her target told campus leaders he has been in the United States for five years and attending CU Boulder for three years. He called the encounter “obviously disturbing and uncomfortable.”
“This is the first time I’ve experienced such a thing,” he said. “I would love for the school that I love so much to ensure this does not happen to any other student of color, and if it happens again, the necessary actions will be taken.”
The Black Student Alliance issued a statement that Krajacic’s “actions, coupled with the university’s centering politeness over the safety of its students, has created a hostile and unsafe environment for Black students on its campus.”
They listed five demands, including a systemwide initiative that “names and condemns racism, racial profiling and all forms of white supremacy in any manifestation” and staff training. They requested a response within 48 hours.
CU Colorado Springs officials have been monitoring the events in Boulder, said UCCS spokesman Jared Verner.
“So far, I haven’t seen or heard of anything here with our Black Student Union,” he said.
CU system President Mark Kennedy on Twitter cited the “verbal altercation that included racially hostile language” and said he wanted “to be clear in unequivocally condemning racist and threatening behaviors.”
Engineering and Applied Sciences Dean Bobby Braun said on Twitter he will meet with students this week, and his department will hold an open forum this semester.
Students dressed in black attended the chancellor’s address, and five minutes before the hourlong event ended, they stood and walked out, Smith said. The group was respectful, she said.
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