Local News

Duke students deliver petition calling for anti-hate policy

Posted April 30, 2018 5:08 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 11:16 a.m. EDT

— Duke students marched across campus on Monday to deliver a petition to university leaders, calling on them to make one thing clear - students who engage in racist hate speech will be punished.

The movement comes after two racially-charged incidents on campus in the last week.

"When black students are under attack, what do we do? Stand up and fight back," students chanted while marching.

The students are calling on university leaders to create a hate and bias policy, one that will outline punishment for students who engage in hate speech.

"It's the reassurance that we know that our institution stands behind us when we become victims of racism and hate speech on this campus because, at the moment, it very much feels like we are on our own," said student organizer Mumbi Kanyogo.

Kanyogo said the petition was launched after a students posted a picture on Snapchat with the "N" word. The next day, Duke sophomore Cara Kim found "N*****-lover” written in small letter on her dorm room door.

Duke students call for end of racist hate speech

"It's not about me being angry that it happened to me. It's about me being upset that it'll continue to happen without certain actions being taken by the university," Kim said. "This is just a reminder of the deep-rooted racism that still exists on this campus and through its students."

Duke Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta said in a tweet that "freedom of expression protects the oppressed far more than the oppressors."

Many students disagree.

"I just want to see my university be the leaders that they are hoping to produce," Kim said. "In terms of being a leader who doesn't just put out the fire, but stops it from even happening in the first place. I want to see my university initiate change without responding to it."

The petition that was delivered on Monday had 700 signatures. The group says the university has until May 4 to respond.

Officials with Duke did not want to provide a comment.