University responds after CCSU student harassed on campus


NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH) — Students at Central Connecticut State University are speaking out in support of a fellow Muslim student who was the target of a racially-offensive comment.

“I think that something should be done. I think that there should be a zero tolerance policy for any sort of harassment whether it be raciest sexist any sort of harassment,” Abriana Ciasullo said.

Those on campus say the student was verbally harassed while wearing a traditional head covering. The incident was reported to a professor and campus police.

“In my four years of attending here I have personally never witnessed or heard any backlash as far as different ethnic groups or races and we are tolerant as a school,” Subrina Nelson said.

CCSU’s president sent this email to the students:

“While the CCSU Police and the Office of Diversity and Equity continue to work with one of our students who reported yesterday that she, as a Muslim, was verbally harassed, I want to say clearly that such harassment is totally unacceptable and contrary to everything that we as a university stand for. We are a community dedicated to learning. We are welcoming and supportive of all who work and study here. We treat each other with respect and dignity. At a time when anti-Muslim rhetoric has become so loud and pernicious in our country, we should especially embrace our Muslim colleagues and students and let them know that they are safe, welcome, and valued here.”

“It’s just disappointing that we even have to have e-mails like that go out that that’s an issue. It shouldn’t be an issue. I mean she is just a student like all the rest of us trying to get an education like the rest of us and it is something she shouldn’t have to worry about,” Spencer Root said.

Students say there needs to be more support and cultural groups on campus. Ciasullo added, “I think they should advertise more that these centers exist and that there’s more sources for people to go to.” Nelson said, “I think there needs to be more awareness on ones culture. Bringing in these initiatives they will shed more light on the feelings of individuals but I feel like It is not a change that’s going to happen overnight.”

Students say there needs to be more support and cultural groups on campus.

“I think they should advertise more that these centers exist and that there’s more sources for people to go to,” Ciasullo said.

Nelson added, “I think there needs to be more awareness on ones culture. Bringing in these initiatives they will shed more light on the feelings of individuals but I feel like It is not a change that’s going to happen overnight.”

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