- The Washington Times - Friday, November 3, 2006

BALTIMORE (AP) — Johns Hopkins University will provide additional diversity training to students and faculty members, one of several steps taken in response to a “Halloween in the Hood” fraternity party that focused attention on racial tensions on campus.

The university also plans to incorporate the history of racism into the campus curriculum and workshops, and the administration will work for better communication with multicultural groups, Johns Hopkins President William Brody said in a letter to students, faculty and staff.

Racism “is still an issue in our university community,” Mr. Brody wrote.

“We have made progress,” he wrote, pointing to the Diversity Leadership Council, which was formed 10 years ago. “But no one ever believed, even before last weekend’s events, that we had done all we should.

“We all knew that we still had lots of work to do toward making Johns Hopkins the diverse, tolerant, respectful and welcoming community we want it to be.”

The Sigma Chi fraternity chapter at Hopkins was suspended after the party Saturday night. The frat house was decorated with a skeleton pirate dangling from a noose, which some students interpreted as a symbol of lynching.

An invitation encouraged guests to wear “regional clothing from our locale” such as “bling bling ice ice, grills” and “hoochie hoops.”

The Black Student Union led protests Monday, demanding some of the steps that Mr. Brody outlined in his letter, but the organization says more needs to be done.

Its demands include a cultural center, more faculty members of color and a department of black studies.

“I won’t be truly satisfied until I really see a change, until I see a lot more faculty of color, until I see a department that grants Ph.D.s in Africana studies, until we see some sort of multicultural space,” Black Student Union President Christina Chapman said.

Paula Berger, Hopkins’ dean of undergraduate education, said the university’s progress in recruiting faculty members of color has been inadequate.

The undergraduate faculty includes six tenured black professors and two on the tenure track.

“One of the difficulties is, everybody is after the same set of people,” Miss Berger said, referring to peer institutions. “But we’re not content with where we are on that.”

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