Fordham Students Rally Against Bias Incidents

Students marched on the Rose Hill campus in the Bronx Thursday, calling for policy changes in how officials respond to bias incidents.

By Ida Siegal
|  Friday, Mar 9, 2012  |  Updated 6:26 AM EDT
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Fordham University students took to the streets Thursday night to protest recent bias incidents at the Rose Hill campus in the Bronx.  News 4's Ida Siegal reports.

Ida Siegal

Fordham University students took to the streets Thursday night to protest recent bias incidents at the Rose Hill campus in the Bronx. News 4's Ida Siegal reports.

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Dozens of students rallied at Fordham University Thursday night to condemn a recent spate of bias incidents on campus.

Students marched on the Rose Hill campus in the Bronx, calling for policy changes in how officials respond to bias incidents.

"Expand recruitment efforts," student Patrice Edwards urged. "Not just internationally, but in the U.S., right here in our very own Bronx community."

There were three incidents in the last month: last week, the n-word was scratched into sheet rock in a bathroom stall on the Bronx campus, and a gay slur was written in a stairwell on the Lincoln Center campus. Last month, the n-word was written on the dorm room door of a black student.

"When this type of thing happens, it really demeans what students of color on campus and what their contributions mean to Fordham," said alumnus Johanne Sterling.

The university has publicly condemned the incidents and has reached out to student groups, but the students say they want more action.

"Basically, they said this is an isolated incident and it's not a reflection of who we are," said student Angel Melendez. "And obviously they're gonna say that. But we want them to be more honest about the situation, say this is really inherent in our community and we really need to fix this."

The NAACP said the students were on the right path.

"The administration has handled the situation poorly," said Beverly Roberts of the NAACP. "They need to put in place policies that deal with racism as hate crimes."

Fordham officials said Thursday they have reached out to the NYPD's Bias Crimes Task Force to help with the investigation.

There have been no leads so far in their probe into the graffiti.

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