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Another year, another protest over racist messages on UM campus

Tracy Samilton
U of M students protest racist messages on campus

Just like last year, racist messages have been found scrawled on campus at the University of Michigan.

Credit Tracy Samilton
University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel asks the students at Thursday's protest , "It sounds like you think we don't care," (about the racism.) Some of the students agree.

And just like last year, angry students confronted UM President Mark Schlissel at a meeting in the Michigan Union, with a frustrated Schlissel assuring them he was on their side, and everything possible was being done to find the perpetrators.

Police are "looking at video, they're interviewing people," he said.

But so far, just like last year, no one's been caught spreading the hate.  Schlissel asked the students for ideas on how to do more and how to actually prevent the incidents, as many of the students are demanding.

Some students, like senior Stephen Wallace, think video cameras should be installed in the residence halls and other places on campus to catch the perpetrators.
"Here's my thing," he said.  "Would you rather have privacy or would you rather be safe?"

Students said other students who are known to have posted racist messages on places like Snapchat should be suspended.

After the meeting, two lines of white students blocked off the street in front of Schlissel's residence, as black students protested on the front lawn. 

Police arrested one person, a white man not affiliated with the University, after he got into a fight with one of the black protestors.

Another protest is planned Thursday inside the Michigan Union.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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