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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Post-racial universities are a myth

Kristina Martinez

Many people see the present time as a “post-racial” world, but that is far from the truth.

Four students, Logan Beaschler, Colin Warren, Joseph Bomgardner and an unidentified juvenile, are accused by Donald Williams Jr., their former roommate, of bullying him in his fall semester at San Jose State. Three out of the four students involved were expelled.

They allegedly wrote the “N” word on the dry-erase board in the living room, calling their roommate “three-fifths” and when he protested, they called him “fraction.” Among other allegations, the most disturbing is the claim that all four roommates wrestled Williams to the ground and put a u-shape bike lock around his neck.

The four students have been charged with battery and hate crimes and Bomgardner is on suspension and probation for the rest of his time at the university if he chooses to return. He also has to attend counseling sessions.

The problem with high-profile racism court cases is the ongoing issue of what exactly is racism. Even though people debate over specific definitions, there is no mistaking this case for being about anything but racism.

In this case, skin color is clearly an issue. “Bullying” is an understatement and in a diverse community like that of San Jose’s, it seems shocking.

But the sad truth is that racism and hate is very much alive in 2014.

Racism is hard to prevent because people have their own mindsets and usually by the time a person enters college, they will have already had their own idea of racism and how they view others of different ethnic backgrounds.

Resident advisors in college dorms need to do their part by routinely checking in on residents and making sure behavior going in the dorms is respectful.

San Jose State made the obvious and morally correct decision by expelling the students involved in this case. The school set a good example for other universities to follow. No form of harassment in any shape or form should be tolerated, and students need to understand that there are consequences for racist behavior.

Kristina Martinez can be reached at [email protected] or @kristinacsuc on Twitter.

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