OSU looks for answers on racism

Nov. 18, 2007 at 10:32 PM

CORVALLIS, Ore., Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Oregon State University is taking steps to address racism on campus, including a noose left at a Halloween party and racist content in the school newspaper.

There are fewer than 300 black students among the student body of 27,000 at the Corvallis campus. Two of them -- Shannon Warren and Roshawn Davis -- joined other black students in a protest after the campus paper published a photograph of a student in blackface as part of a story on a fan "blackout" at a football game, The (Portland) Oregonian reported Sunday.

White students involved in the incident -- and in the hanging of a noose at a Halloween party -- said they hadn't meant to offend anyone, the Oregonian said.

Warren and Davis said they are accustomed to being the only black students in a classroom. Warren grew up in Alaska and Davis attended high school in Portland.

However, Warren said when she arrived at OSU "somebody told me … 'I thought you were going to be like (the black TV character) Moesha.'"

In an effort to address the problem, the university staged a mock trial with students arguing conflicting sides of the issue.

During last weekend's protest, a passerby yelled, "Go racism" and pumped his fist, the campus paper reported.

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