Education

University Of Delaware Launches $1 Million Diversity Initiative In Response To Hate Crime That Didn’t Happen

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Blake Neff Reporter

In a move it says is partly inspired by a recent hate crime incident, the University of Delaware (UD) announced it’s launching a brand new $1 million initiative to promote diversity on its campus. The problem? Said hate crime never happened.

According to The Review, the campus newspaper for UD, dean George H. Watson plans to set aside a million dollars a year from the state-funded school’s budget in order to promote diversity. Watson hasn’t yet announced exactly how that money will be allocated.

Watson said the new initiative was based on a series of events that happened in the past year, such as the selection of the racially-themed novel “Just Mercy” as assigned reading for first-year students this fall and a visit by the book’s author, activist Bryan Stevenson.

But Watson also said the new $1 million initiative is partly prompted by an incident last month where students believed they found makeshift nooses hanging from a tree in the middle of campus. (RELATED: University Of Delaware Outraged Over Nonexistent Hate Crime)

Within a few hours, police had concluded the “hate crime” was anything but, as the nooses were really just the remains of paper lanterns from an event held last summer.

Many students, though, simply refused to believe the police and their own school administration, saying they thought a hate crime really occurred despite all evidence to the contrary. Others said that the mere thought the paper lanterns could have been nooses showed that the school had a toxic racial environment that was not welcoming to non-white races. (RELATED: Students Double Down, Insist Fake Hate Crime Was Real)

“We have such a history of diversity issues,” Watson said at his State of the College address a week ago. “We’ve come a long way, but diversity has always been a focus.”

About 76 percent of UD is white, compared to about 70 percent of Delaware. The state is over 20 percent black, though, and they provide just 5 percent of UD’s students. Seven percent of the school is Hispanic, which is quite close to their 9 percent share of the population.

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