UAlbany hosts dialogue about race, diversity after alleged CDTA incident

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A critical conversation about race and diversity was held on the campus of the University at Albany Tuesday night.

The discussion came after an incident on a CDTA bus that is still being investigated.

Three black female students claimed they were racially attacked, but sources with intimate knowledge of the case told NEWS10 that it was one of the three accusers who threw the first punch. In addition, sources said racial slurs were not used by white bus riders during the incident.

UAlbany President Robert Jones said the incident is providing an opportunity to be a transformational moment for the campus.

“There are a lot of sides to the same story,” UAlbany student Bianca DeLeon said.

Students are also anxious to see the CDTA bus video from the January 30 incident.

“I don’t have all the facts, but I wish I did,” UAlbany graduate student Henry Lino said. “The space and the conversations were necessary, but I feel we should not have been so haste to have that conversation without having all the facts.”

Tuesday night, Jones hosted a critical conversation about diversity, race and inclusion. Students believed the conversation needed to take place regardless of whether the accusations of the bus incident are true or not.

“We do have to talk about it,” UAlbany student Keyla Navarro said. “We always have to talk about it. it should be a conversation.”

But after opening remarks, the discussion became a closed door meeting.

“It had to be a candid conversation,” Jones said.

Immediately after the incident, Jones released a letter that implied the incident took place as the young women claimed it did.

“We responded based on what these young women reported, and anytime something is reported that puts our students in harm’s way, you will always see me lead with compassion,” he said.

Jones said he hopes the meeting reminds students that the issue of diversity and race are not a game where someone must lose or win. He plans to continue the dialogue, and regardless of the outcome of the bus investigation, students said the issues need to be talked about.

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