November 18, 2011

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SUNY New Paltz faces racial incidents head on

NEW PALTZ – SUNY New Paltz President Dr. Donald Christian told students at the college that the racial incidents on campus recently are actions of a few and not something condoned by the community at large. He spoke to students Thursday evening.

Incidents recently included a sign posted by a water fountain saying it was for whites only.

College Council members Friday supported Christian’s tackling of the problem head on, including a community forum he is planning in early December.

“What we are seeing is not the community value, but the actions of one or two or a small number of individuals, and we need to keep that in mind, that this is a good community,” he said. “Yes, we have work to do as all of America does to deal with issues of race and racism, but this is a good community and we have a strong foundation to work from,” he said.

Christian said the response to these incidents must be a community response.

While there are discussions about possible reasons for the incidents, Christian said the college’s police department is investigating, but he acknowledged that as of now, there is only circumstantial evidence available.

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