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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Drive-By Racist Comments Being Addressed by Ball State

Response Includes Bold, Aggressive Move of... Forming a Task Force

Ball State University is moving to address the concerns of students regarding incidents of racist harassment on the Muncie, Indiana, campus. As Indiana Parley noted last week, those incidents have included the yelling of racial slurs from vehicles along McKinley and University Avenues. Erin Moody, Chief Reporter for the Ball State Daily News, wrote last week's story about the incidents and she has followed up with today's report.
One idea already being implemented by the University Police Department is increasing the amount of police on duty, especially around McKinley Avenue where most of the verbal assaults have occurred. However, Director of Public Safety Gene Burton said it would take a “stroke of luck” for an officer to actually witness the harassment. Despite the difficulties, he said it was important the police assist however they can.

“Nobody should have to put up with that kind of harassment as they are walking down the street at midnight minding their own business,” Burton said.
The University is also setting up a task force.
One possible tool to aid the fight against racism is the formation of a task force to deal with the problems.

A meeting will be held Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. in the L.A. Pittenger Student Center, room 331, Director of Student Affairs Kay Bales said. Anyone is invited to join the task force for the meeting.

“Essentially, what we are doing is asking students to come and talk about what are some other things that can be done on campus,” Bales said.
The initial story was the result of the concerns being raised at a Student Government meeting last Wednesday. Student Government leaders are probably hoping for Ball State faculty and administrators to act with more alacrity than when the Student Government asked for a student/faculty relationship policy. The Faculty Senate took 5 years to endorse a policy on that isse.

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