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At San Jose State, students grapple with hate crime allegations

'It was awful to believe that something like that could happen,' one student says. Some black students now wonder whether it's safe to stay in dorms.

November 30, 2013|By Carla Rivera

Many students complain that before the incidents came to light, campus leaders had turned a deaf ear to their concerns about program cuts, saving the African American studies department, establishing a success center for black students and requests to meet with Qayoumi.

"Time will tell what actions will happen, but based on experience I'm not too confident," said Gary Daniels, 21, president of a black student unity group.

A coalition of students has proposed remedies that include setting up voluntary floors for black students in dorms.

An African American Student Success Task Force of faculty and staff established by the provost over the summer to address retention and graduation is also likely to look at factors surrounding the incident.

Many students and faculty said that they had not experienced a culture or climate of racial intolerance on the 30,000-student campus but that isolated incidents of racial stereotyping of all ethnic groups had occurred for years. In the fall of 2012, African Americans made up 3% of the student population, Latinos 21%, whites 26% and Asians 33%.

"We've got some listening issues and communication issues here that need to be addressed," said Michael Randle, an academic advisor and task force member. "The students and the administrators on each side are talking past each other and they need to begin talking to each other."

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