WASHINGTON - Several students are facing possible disciplinary action at American University and it stems from an incident that many students feel was racially charged.
The incident in question happened on September 8.
American University spokeswoman tells FOX 5 a banana was thrown against the dorm room door of a student. Conduct charges have been filed against those believed to be responsible.
In a statement the school says the incident is not categorized as bias related. But many students say its racism.
Some put up posters on campus- which were quickly removed because of campus policy but the black student alliance says a young black woman was actually hit by the banana in this case and another had a rotten banana placed outside her door.
The school acknowledges that it's looking into other alleged incidents, but the students we spoke with are very upset. They say there is too much racial tension on campus... this is a continuing problem and nothing is being done about it.
“This is my first time of it becoming physical but every year there is a situation with freshman being harassed,” said Ma'at Sargeant a sophomore at the university.
A statement from the university reads:
We understand that members of our community feel hurt by an incident that happened in a residence hall and separate allegations of racially biased behavior.
We're working with student leaders and others in the community concerned about this. At 1:00 pm today, we are holding a Town Hall in Butler Board Room to listen to student groups and the community at large about the climate, discuss the facts as we know them, and provide an update on the incident. The entire AU community is invited to participate.
Regarding the known facts, on September 8, an incident that was not characterized as bias related occurred in a residence hall and was reported to Residence Life staff. The Dean of Students office reached out to the affected party and to the perpetrators. Based on the accounts provided, the DOS filed conduct charges, which are currently being adjudicated through the Student Conduct process. The Department of Public Safety was notified and conducted its own investigation.
Actions can and do have impact beyond their intent and that was the case here. The University condemns discrimination and discriminatory harassment and all violations are handled through the Student Conduct process.
Regarding allegations of other incidents, the Dean of Students and Department of Public Safety are continuing their investigations. We want to find out more and hope students can be helpful in providing additional details that will help us understand what has happened. If you have information, please contact the Dean of Students at DOS@american.edu or 202-885-3300 or the Department of Public Safety at 202-885-2527.
We will continue to update the community on our conversations and actions about how we can work to ensure AU has a healthy, safe and supportive environment.
There were also some disturbing racist messages posted on yik yak last year. Because of that, the president of the university has formed a diversity and inclusion council which is set to meet for the first time within the next month.