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UNLV students protest university’s response to threatened shooting

Updated October 21, 2019 - 6:57 pm

A small group of UNLV students on Monday protested the university’s handling of a shooting threat that targeted African American students and supporters of Bernie Sanders.

The protest by about 20 students was organized by the Black Student Organization, whose members have expressed frustration that the university took several days to warn students of a threatened shooting on Oct. 16 despite discovering the threat in a bathroom the week prior.

The group also has posted flyers throughout campus charging that the UNLV administration failed to protect African American students while simultaneously claiming to be one of the most diverse schools in the country. Some students have noted that a note was found on campus in 2017 that said “Kill the Blacks.”

“It’s disgusting that they use us as a marketing tool,” senior Shakiya Hollis said at the protest. “We’re tired of it, and tired of them saying, ‘we’ll be there for you,’ but not when it counts.”

Junior Dayanah Towner said that the university’s response to the recent threat appeared to take the possibility of violence lightly. Towner noted that though the university encouraged flexibility for those who chose to skip class, the campus remained open, leaving students to make a difficult decision.

“If class is still going on, we’re missing out,” Towner said.

University spokeswoman Cindy Brown said the university appreciates input from students and university leaders will reach out to student groups to discuss their concerns.

Administrators are expected to meet with another student group, the Residence Hall Association, this week to discuss their response to the threat.

Contact Aleksandra Appleton at aappleton@reviewjournal.com or (702) 383-0218. Follow @aleksappleton on Twitter.

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