University of Arizona sends white students to social justice program as punishment for a violent hate crime

Police are investigating after a black student was reportedly assaulted by two white students on the University of Arizona campus this week, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

According to UA’s Black Student Union, the victim was “physically and verbally attacked in a hate crime” that occurred at 11:24 p.m. on Tuesday. Reports say that the two white students yelled out the N-word and then assaulted the black student before running away.

A statement released by UA President Robert C. Robbins said that "racism, bias and violence will not be tolerated on this campus."

“I will be working with members of my administration to ensure we have a comprehensive response to issues of bias and discrimination on campus, and that we are promoting and fostering our core value of inclusion," Robbins' statement continued. "I call on all members of our community to make the same commitment to stand against racial bias in any form."

But according to a statement from the BSU, campus police described the crime as "minor," adding that the alleged assailants were referred to “a social justice ‘diversion’ training program” facilitated by campus police.

“A racially motivated attack on a person is not and should not be classified as a ‘misdemeanor’ and legal actions should have been made,” a BSU representative told The Arizona Republic, adding that a protest is being to organized to demand that "this university values black students and proves it by validating that violence will not be accepted."

The BSU protest will also call for the suspects to be suspended. They are also demanding that the suspects' names be released and for the UA police to undergo a cultural identity sensitivity program.

“We don’t believe it is an appropriate response to a hate crime that is motivated by racial identity,” BSU director of community and outreach and relations, Fredian Tuyisenge, said. “That’s our stance.”

Featured image via University of Arizona/Facebook