Students speak out about racism on UC campus

Published: Nov. 15, 2013 at 9:48 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2013 at 11:29 PM EST
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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - African American students on the University of Cincinnati campus are speaking out about the conditions they say led to the resignation of the university's Dean of Arts & Sciences.

Ronald Jackson quit his job earlier this week as the university's only African American Dean and some students are calling for change.

Just how bad is the problem of racism on the UC campus? That depends on who you talk to, but after a racist cartoon was circulated and the Dean of Arts and Sciences resigned the problem was undeniable, but that's not the end of the discussion.

A cartoon depicting Jackson and Assistant Dean Carol Tonge was circulated around campus in September and last Tuesday Jackson submitted his resignation which reads in part: The bitterness of this moment is in all that came with being the college's first and the university's only African American dean.  While I stood proudly as dean I along with the UC community endured racist cartoons and public mischaracterizations aimed at me.

Some students, like sophomore Kamree Maull, say the campus culture has to change.

"I don't think the campus in its entirety is a racist campus, but I think there is ignorance that definitely needs to be addressed," says Maull.

Student body president, Joe Blizzard, says he wants to help the university improve the racial climate moving forward.

"We need to open up the discussion a little bit more and have more discussion around the community about the issues that people see and work towards becoming a more inclusive and open environment," explains Blizzard.

Amara Ogomuo, a senior, says there's an opportunity for historic change.

"We want to be the pioneers that actually sit down and write this new diversity plan and even share our testimonies with what we've experienced to be, to have more productive and effective diversity plan."

The first in a series of forums is set to get underway Wednesday at noon here at University Center. It'll be the  beginning of what's hoped to be an ongoing process.

To read President Santa Ono's statement on the issue, click here:

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