A California university accused of not responding quickly enough to racist hazing allegations in a campus dorm, is finally in the clear after a fact-finding report revealed that the university followed policies in response to the incident.
On Monday, a fact-finding report helped clear San Jose State University after it appeared the institution gave a nonchalant response to a Black student who had been physically tormented for several months.
According to authorities, four white students displayed a Confederate flag along with Nazi imagery to frighten a Black student in the same dorm.
On more than one occasion, the group of students attempted to put a U-shaped bicycle lock around the victim’s neck, while other times he was trapped in his room after his dorm mates blocked his door with a heavy table.
The victim was also labeled with a racist nickname “3/5,” which was later changed to “Fraction,” presumably after other students on campus became aware of the racist nickname.
The racist hazing wasn’t brought to the university’s attention until the victim’s parents came to visit and saw a racial slur written across the whiteboard in the common area.
The racial incidents went on for an extensive period without the university being aware partly because of the private quarters of the dorm, and because the victim begged friends not to tell anyone about the way he was being treated.
“A lot of these things happened within bedrooms, within suites, where there just may not have been access,” said attorney Myron Moye, who led the fact-finding task force appointed by university President Mohammad Qayoumi. “A combination of (that) and a lack of reporting, I think, contributed mostly to the timing of these things coming to light.”
The period of time where the incident went unreported “left the impression that the university’s senior leaders were uncaring.”
A retired superior court judge, LaDoris Cordell, will review the reports and make recommendations to the university on April 30.
“Our purpose is to look at lessons learned,” Cordell said. “What recommendations can we make to this university so that a situation like this never happens again?”
Three of the students pleaded not guilty in December and January to one count of a misdemeanor hate crime and one count of misdemeanor battery against the 17-year-old victim.
The fourth defendant is a minor and details of his case have not been released.