At University of Oklahoma

50 Incidents of Bias Reported

NORMAN—Fifty incidents of alleged bias or prejudice have been reported at the University of Oklahoma during a two-year period, The Black Chronicle has learned.

Details about the incidents have yet to be determined.

A telephone hotline and a Webpage yielded the 50 complaints alleging racial bias or prejudice.

The period of the complaints was from Sept. 1, 2016 to Aug. 30, 2018.

Information on the complaints came from the school’s Office of Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion and the Title IX Office.

The latter office handles claims involving sexual misconduct, discrimination and harassment policy, and gender equity issues related to athletics.

Of the complaints, 35 resulted in “no action taken,” The Black Chronicle has determined.

Five of the complaints reached an “administrative resolution,” three ended in “training” and two were said to have resulted in an investigation.

One racial incident occurred when members of the  Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity chapter was showed to have used a racist chant.

The chapter was closed at the university and two members who led the chant left the school.

Last year, two students left the university after wearing blackface in a video and using the N-word.

Also last year, a student posted a photo wearing a mud mask and  mocked the blackface incident.

Earlier this year, students protested two faculty members’ use of the N-word in class.

One professor used the word during a lecture, while equating the generational term, “boomer,” to the racial slur’s offensive nature. 

The other professor used the slur while reading from a 1920’s U.S. Senate document.

Joseph Harroz Jr., who was named president of the university in May, has said diversity and inclusion are among his top priorities.

A 500-page action plan to review diversity issues was issued.

Today, freshmen are required to complete three hours of training on diversity education.

Another program requires bias training for students, faculty,  staff-members and administrators.

Faculty, staff and graduate students across all campuses will be expected to participate in a new diversity certification series.  The university is setting “target numbers” for faculty, staff and administration representation.

The campus Bias Response Committee assists people on campus who say they have experienced or witnessed an incident based on hate or bias.

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