Towson president responds to racial incident

Posted at 8:29 PM, Apr 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-20 20:29:51-04

The president of Towson University said Wednesday she wants a full review of the process through which students and others can report incidents of hate and bias.

In a statement emailed to the school community, Dr. Kim Schatzel said she’s asking Dr. Santiago Solis, assistance vice president of student affairs and diversity, to lead the review.

“The concerns raised regarding the hate/bias reporting process are valid, and implementing these ideas for change will be part of our ongoing efforts to be an inclusive campus,” Schatzel said. “This is a priority.”

According to Schatzel’s statement, a student made “racist and disruptive” comments to an employee in the café in the Liberal Arts building on April 5.

University police investigated incident, but determined it did not rise to the level of a crime. An ongoing investigation is underway by the Office of Student Conduct, Schatzel said.

Schatzel, who was named president last December, said she’s heard a lot of criticism of the hate/bias reporting process in her few months on the job.

“It has been described as confusing, ineffective and non-responsive,” she said in her email.

Schatzel said she has talked to members of the Social Justice Collective about how to improve the process, including central coordination of response efforts and better transparency of crime log reporting.

“In the days and months ahead, I will share more of my vision for addressing these critical issues and look forward to continued collaboration and dialogue regarding our progress,” she said. 

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