- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 25, 2015

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Purdue University is forming a campus safety relations committee following a student demonstration to protest problems with racism at the school’s main campus.

President Mitch Daniels announced the action in a letter to the demonstration leaders on Tuesday. About a dozen students had met with Daniels a week earlier to outline the 13 demands that were presented during the Nov. 13 rally. Those demands included minority student and faculty recruitment goals; more merit and need-based financial assistance for minority students; and a police advisory board consisting of diverse students, faculty and staff.

Daniels said in his letter that the safety committee for the West Lafayette campus will begin meeting in December, the Journal & Courier reported (https://on.jconline.com/1MB2vRr ). Daniels also affirmed the university’s commitment to a “discrimination-free campus.”

The campus safety relations committee addresses the students’ request for a police advisory board, Purdue spokesman Brian Zink said.

Purdue junior Adam Williams, a member of the Purdue Social Justice Coalition, said he was “pleasantly surprised” by Daniels’ letter.

“I didn’t expect to receive anything from President Daniels, considering how rocky our meeting was,” Williams said.

He said the letter was “a step in the right direction,” but that the group plans to keep the pressure on.

“We’re here for a reason, and we’ll keep on him and Purdue Student Government to make sure he follows through with everything he said,” Williams said.

Daniels said most of the demonstrators’ demands were in alignment with Purdue’s existing plans to increase scholarship funding, recruit underrepresented minority faculty and students and release reports about diversity efforts.

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Information from: Journal and Courier, https://www.jconline.com

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