"Colored Only" Sign Posted Over NY College Drinking Fountain

State University of New York at New Paltz investigating posting of racist signs.

Thursday, Nov 17, 2011  |  Updated 9:38 AM EDT
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SUNY New Paltz President Donald Christian has sent memos to students and faculty decrying the incidents and proposing a campus-wide forum on Nov. 30 to discuss the issue.

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Campus police at an upstate New York college say they're investigating the posting of racist signs in two buildings at the school.     

A sign reading "Colored only'' was found posted over a drinking fountain in the Humanities Building at the State University of New York at New Paltz, 65 miles south of Albany, reports The Times Herald-Record of Middletown.     

The sign was found Nov. 8. The newspaper reports that three other similar signs were found in a dormitory later that week.     

SUNY New Paltz President Donald Christian has sent memos to students and faculty decrying the incidents. He is also proposing a Nov. 30 forum to discuss the racist incidents.     

While there have been no arrests, campus police Chief David Dugatkin said Wednesday the investigation has turned up several potentially strong leads.

Associate Professor Major Coleman, of the Black Studies Department, sent a letter to the college president noting that SUNY New Paltz's undergraduate student body is just 5 percent black.

"It is our hope that over the coming weeks and months your administration will use this tragic event to begin the process of what Martin Luther King Jr. called 'substantive equality,' which is so desperately needed on this campus," the professor wrote.

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