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October 2, 2007

Administration learns of video; swiftly investigates and plans forum

A dramatization, allegedly created by a student in response to the Jena 6 situation, was filmed on Red River, near Alexandria.

Wayne Brumfield, Vice President of Student Affairs said, "We deplore the dramatization. The reprehensible racist attitudes reflected in this video, which is now posted on YouTube, in no way represent the great majority of ULM students, who hold much more enlightened and progressive views," Brumfield said.

President James Cofer immediately directed Brumfield and Provost Stephen Richters to develop educational materials, especially for freshmen, about cultural diversity and racial sensitivity, and the ramifications of posting objectionable material in public forums, such as Facebook and YouTube. Student Life and Leadership will continue to incorporate issues related to diversity in their programming, Cofer said.

In addition, Cofer remarked, "We are naturally appalled, and we intend to face this matter directly by gathering our community together and exploring these difficult issues."

ULM administrators do not monitor Facebook or YouTube unless a serious issue is brought to their attention. When administrators learned of the video, they immediately began an investigation, and are currently reviewing the Code of Student Conduct through the Office of Judicial Affairs. Based on the policies of YouTube and Facebook, which do not condone such inappropriate postings, administrators asked those organizations to remove the video from their Web sites, Brumfield said.

Brumfield created his own Facebook account, and publicly demolished the suggestion that the university is complacent in the face of racist representations. He also invited students to an open forum, which will be held tonight, Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. in Brown Auditorium.

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