U of Chicago students protest recent racial incidents

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A call for action over alleged racial incidents at the University of Chicago. Students held a protest on Friday demanding that the school respond to the issue.

Students from different multicultural organizations say the university's stance in the past with racial incidents has been to distance itself. On Friday, students publicly made demands to university leaders.

"It's just hard to come to university and to feel accepted when negative stereotypes are kind of perpetuated against people that you care about," said student Alyssa Rodriguez.

This protest kicked off a campaign by multicultural organizations to prevent and stop what they called a trend of racism over the past few weeks.

The catalyst - an alleged racist themed party at fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta. For Cinco De Mayo, the fraternity held a construction-themed party despite concerns from university's Chicano and Latino student organization.

"It was not a priority for those people to take our thoughts concerns and sentiments seriously," said student Gloria Morelos.

When the students complained to the university, administrators told the group that fraternities are not university organizations.

"The university's response to these incidences has been to distance themselves," said Morelos.

Members of the fraternity declined to speak to ABC 7.

Protesters said Friday's rally was about more than just the party. It was a wakeup call to the university to give more support to people of color.

"I think it's just reflective of us just being poster children for diversity without any support for us actually as we move through the institution," said Rodriguez.

In a statement the University of Chicago said:
"The University of Chicago has an unwavering commitment to the values of diversity and inclusion. The members of our University community are dedicated to continue addressing these matters, and have taken steps to improve in these areas."
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