Black student association holds sit-in at Washington University in St. Louis, alleges school fosters racism

Association of Black Students rallied against racial intimidation after a group of students uttered racial slurs in a campus dining hall

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Association of Black Students at St. Louis’ Washington University on Friday held a sit-in at a dining hall where a group of students last month allegedly threw eggs, stood on tables and used racial slurs in front of primarily racial minority workers.

University spokesperson Julie Flory in a statement said the private college does not “share information about any specific incident or investigation involving our students or other members of our community.”

A police officer rolls past Brookings Hall on the campus of Washington University, Wednesday, March 11, 2020, in St. Louis, Mo. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP, File)

“We are working directly with our students and other members of our community to address their concerns,” Flory said.

Dining hall workers felt intimidated and uncomfortable when students on March 21 jumped on tables, spit at each other and used racial slurs, the president of a local food workers union, David Cook, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Association of Black Students told the newspaper that most of the workers that night were racial minorities.

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St. Louis Democratic state Sen. Karla May in a Friday statement said she reached out to student advocates and campus leaders “to ensure steps are being taken to address these overt acts of racism.”

The Association of Black Students met at the cafeteria Friday to write thank-you notes and show support for workers who were present during the alleged incident, which the group said was “not an isolated instance of violence.”

“It shows how racism is still a part of the culture and has been fostered at Washington University, elite institutions, and historically white organizations for far too long,” the group said in a statement posted on the social media platform Instagram.

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