SU discusses results of racial profiling survey
The town halls on race relations continued Wednesday as students gathered for a forum at the Student Union Senate. Between 15 and 20 students showed up at the town hall, a product of an SU partnership with Connect 4, and addressed perceptions of race on campus and students’ interactions with the Washington University Police Department (WUPD).
Among the topics discussed was an online SU survey that asked 504 students about issues of racial profiling on campus. Two hundred seventy-five students responded to a question in the survey asking, “Do you feel as though you have been racially profiled on campus and by whom?” Twenty of these students said yes, and shared a variety of stories about being discriminated against for being Jewish, Asian and white, among other things.
Several black students said in the survey that they have been racially profiled on campus by WUPD.
One student wrote in the survey that, “I have been racially profiled when walking around on the 40 with my black (mostly male) friends on a Friday night, on multiple occasions. We were asked for our IDs, something that I didn’t see WUPD asking for to any white students.”
Much of the discussion at the forum centered on the role that WUPD plays in on-campus racial profiling.
According to senior Chase Sackett, speaker of the Senate, “Chief Don Strom is really eager to work with us on this issue.”
Students also talked about ways to combat discrimination on campus, including Greek Life mixers with city-wide black fraternities and diversity training. SU plans to appoint a task force to prioritize these solutions. The task force will deliver its report, and next steps will be decided on at the next Connect 4 meeting.
Sackett said that he was impressed with the town hall’s openness and that the event was productive.
“It was a very open town hall, with no distinctions between Senators and the students,” Sackett said.