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Duke Employees Send Letter to Keohane About Racial Problems

Posted September 12, 1997

— Employees at Duke University are asking the administration to solve the school's racial problems. Faculty members signed a letter to President Nan Keohane asking her to do something to improve race relations on campus.

There are about 12,000 students at Duke. Eight percent of those are African American. Because of that some African Americans say they are not treated fairly.

In April, Calvin Harding, an African American student, was arrested by mistake on campus. Harding's arrest lead to a silent protest on the steps of the University Chapel. It also opened the doors to discussion on race relations.

"Race relations in this country are not what they should be and they are not what they should be at Duke," said Bobby Clark, University relations director.

Clark said the Duke administration is dedicated to improving the problem, but they can't do it alone.

Now that race relations are being addressed Toby Wilder, Black Student Alliance president, is confident that change is possible.

"We plan to seek the opportunity to make the most of affecting change," said Wilder.

Administrators say they are not sure how to solve the problem but they are working on it.


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