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People gather at town hall meeting to discuss discrimination at Purdue

They discussed freedom of speech and expression, and the availability of quality mental health care.

Posted: Nov 11, 2019 11:47 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Students, faculty and community members gathered on Purdue's campus for a town hall meeting about discrimination Monday night. About 100 people sat in on the meeting.

They discussed freedom of speech and expression, and the availability of quality mental health care for minorities on campus. Students were able to voice concerns and ask questions of Dr. John Gates. He joined Purdue as the Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion in March.

Many students say they feel like their voices have not been heard for years. They want President Mitch Daniels to address acts of discrimination students feel have been swept under the rug, even the ones that happen off campus.

"It's about your students," said D'yan Berry, a senior at Purdue. "It doesn't matter where we are, if we face discrimination you should face it with us. They claim us and our accomplishments when we graduate, they should stand up for us when we are still students."

"I think it's important for the administration to hear the students and their authentic voices," said Dr. Gates. "I think we can work together to find that common ground."

Dr. Gates says he did send out an email to some students regarding an incident that happened at CVS last month, where a student was denied cold medicine with his valid Puerto Rican ID. About 40 students protested outside Mackey Arena last week. Students argue that the email was not public enough and they still want to hear from President Daniels.

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