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UGA Protestors Concerned About Cultural Diversity

Photo Credit: David Schick

Continuing protests from last week, the University of Georgia’s Black Affairs Council held a rally outside the president’s office to bring awareness to the school’s lack of ethnic diversity.

“I think our march last week did a good job of bringing awareness and rallying support,” said Caroline Bailey, a UGA student and president of the Black Affairs Council. “And this week we’re here to rally the support and attention of the administrators here on campus.”

About 60 people showed up for the silent protest. Participants stood quietly for an hour outside of the administration building with signs to illustrate their concerns.

Bailey said that UGA has a “fundamental problem” that is about more than just a racist Facebook post that was posted to the council’s Facebook website last week.

Yesterday afternoon, President Jere Morehead sent an email  to the UGA community adressing the issue:

As many of you already are aware, the University community has been targeted recently by criminal acts of identity theft by perpetrators who have used those false identities to post hateful speech on Facebook pages and Twitter accounts of some UGA student, staff and faculty groups. I wanted to reach out to you and share my great concern over these recent incidents that impact not only these individual groups but also the entire University community. It has become apparent through these outrageous online postings that those responsible, as-yet unknown, are intent on spreading their message of hate.  When any member of our community is attacked in such a hateful way, we all are affected. We all share their hurt; we come together in their support. I join with other members of the University community in condemning these actions, which do not reflect the culture of unity and inclusion which we support on our campus. A criminal investigation is underway by UGA Police and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in consultation with the security departments of Facebook and Twitter. While we hope and expect that anyone responsible will be identified and held accountable for their actions, we should not allow them to achieve the goal that seems their intent: to divide our community and divert our attention from the pursuit of an open, unified campus. Let us work together to keep that from happening.

“I’m very happy that they’re proceeding with the investigation, but it’s more about a personal connection,” protestor Ricky Roberts said. She added that it shouldn’t have taken over a week for there to be a statement and that the administrators should’ve set up a time to sit down with them.

“It’s just really about the administrators making sure that there’s a culture on campus that’s inclusive,” she said. “And you do that by taking action, not issuing statements.”