BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – Police officers at the University of Colorado Boulder are searching for a woman caught on camera yelling racial slurs at students. They were studying at the Engineering Center on Sunday. The CU’s chancellor and president have both condemned the racism in separate statements.
Video of the incident was posted on Twitter. It showed a woman yelling vulgarities and racial slurs at students who were in a study room. In the video, the woman accused the men of stalking her and was quickly approached by a professor. At one point, the professor — who when reached by phone declined to comment on the situation — threatened to call police.
Fitzgerald Pickens, president of CU’s Black Student Alliance, told CBS4 the two students were studying in the same room they do just about every week when the woman approached the glass. He said one of the students, who is white, recorded the woman yelling racial slurs at the other student.
Leaders with the Black Student Alliance met with administrators Monday afternoon to talk about the incident and what they want to see moving forward.
The group also posted a list of demands to its social media platforms for university leadership fulfill within 48 hours, which include expelling or barring the woman from campus and having CU President Mark Kennedy directly name the act as racist.
“While maybe a white person would express outrage, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe what she said,’ this is something we deal with on a daily basis,” said Pickens.
In a statement on its social media accounts, the Black Student Alliance said it “won’t take the generic response from the university as reform.” Members of the organization told CBS4 they plan to continue to organize and push for change following the incident.
“I think we come to this with a greater sense of urgency than the school does,” said Pickens. “I think, over time, the school has created a posture of how they respond to these things and generally, that looks like no response to us.”
Since the video surfaced, CU administrators have sent out a slew of statements.
On Sunday night, CU President Mark Kennedy responded to the tweet of the video, saying “I understand a verbal altercation occurred at CU Boulder between students that included racially hostile language. I support the chancellor and the Office of Institutional Equity & Compliance in immediately launching an investigation.”
On Monday, Chancellor Phil DiStefano sent an email to the entire campus addressing the incident. In it, he described what he saw in the video as an “act of racism.”
“I cannot state this strongly enough — racist behavior is offensive to our campus values and will not be tolerated. The CU Police Department is investigating and searching for the person who committed this racist act, who will be held accountable to the fullest extent possible. While we don’t believe she is affiliated with our campus, her actions are just as insulting to our values,” DiStefano said.
A spokesman for CUPD tells CBS4 that officers don’t believe the woman is a student or affiliated with the university. Officers believe she’s the same woman found camping on campus last month, in violation of CU policy.
The woman is described as a white female, approximately 5-foot-3 to 5-foot-5 and 130 to 140 pounds with short blond hair. If you know who she is or if you see her on campus, you are asked to call CUPD at 303-492-6666 or 911.