Florida State University takes steps to address racial issues

Florida State University President John Thrasher said Monday the university is taking additional steps to address racism and racial inequality on campus, including the creation of a task force that will scrutinize racial issues.

Thrasher said the university is forming the Special Presidential Task Force on Anti-Racism and Racial Equality for the upcoming academic year. The task force will focus on identifying racial and ethnic disparities on campus and exploring the university's historical connections to race.

FSU will also create a new educational program about the university’s history and relationship with the Seminole Tribe of Florida and will launch the Student Equity and Inclusion Office, which is aimed at “fostering a more inclusive student experience.”

Thrasher said the university also will intensify efforts to recruit and retain students, faculty and staff members from underrepresented groups. The move will include the administration of a “campus climate survey” during the fall semester to identify recruitment and retention barriers, Thrasher said.

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“I have spent the past several weeks listening and learning from countless individuals within the FSU family who have experienced oppression and acts of racism,” Thrasher said in a statement. "Their expression of anger, sadness and frustration are palpable."

Thrashed added that FSU police officers will soon undergo anti-bias training.

"I am steadfast in my commitment to move Florida State University forward in addressing these challenges through meaningful and even difficult dialogue, providing support and implementing structural change," he said.

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