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UConn students demand change in wake of racial slur arrests

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    STORRS, CT (WFSB) — Two University of Connecticut students face race-related charges after they were caught on camera shouting racial slurs, the school confirmed.

Students on the Storrs campus are demanding that the school do more to prevent similar incidents.

UConn students are demanding change after a racist video circulated on social media.

Police identified the arrested students as 21-year-old Jarred Karal of Plainville and 21-year-old Ryan Mucaj of Granby.

Both are accused of shouting the “n” word in a video that made the rounds on social media. They were charged with ridicule on account of creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality or race.

UConn president Tom Katsouleas released a statement on Monday night, but some students questioned the timing of it.

“It is supportive of our core values to pursue accountability, through due process, for an egregious assault on our community that caused considerable harm,” Katsouleas wrote.

Students said it took him more than a week to respond to the video. They want the culture on campus to change and argue that the past administration allowed problems like these to continue.

Monday afternoon, students held a rally in which Katsouleas joined. He condemned racism then stayed to listen to students.

“These are long-standing problems, they’re not quickly solved but we can and we must continue to work on them together,” Katsouleas said.

According to students at the rally and the NAACP, the university has three months to do the following:

Hire at least 10 black administrators, faculty, staff and police officers.
Make changes to the student code of conduct to address race and hatred.
Create a class on diversity and discrimination for first year students.
“As a person of color, we know what we deal with,” said Kimberly Duhart, a UConn graduate student. “If we can teach in the ways that will allow students to have a new perspective, then change can come about. You can’t teach something you don’t know about.”

The university’s NAACP chapter gave the administration until the beginning of the 2020 spring semester to make the changes.

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