Colgate University has asked its campus security director to take a leave of absence, citing an “implicit racial bias” in the response from the security team to an incident that led to a lockdown at the college Monday night.
President Brian Casey issued a press release on Tuesday, addressing the situation, which ultimately revolved around a black student entering the Coop on campus with a glue gun.
“It is important that we understand the role that implicit racial bias had in the initial reporting of and responses to the events of last night. I want to make sure we speak with those who made and received the initial report to understand the role this played,” he said.
The incident erupted shortly after 8 p.m., when a student called security, saying he saw a “black male entering the Coop carrying what appeared to be a gun.”
Immediately afterward, Campus Safety sent out an announcement indicating an “Emergency Situation,” and then a second indicating that an “active shooter” was on campus, the President noted.
The President said that “racial profiling” was a factor in the decisions the security team made Monday night.
“More egregiously, perhaps, was the effect profiling had on the response of safety officers and other University offices to these events. In addition, communication and enforcement steps were taken that, I believe, confused and harmed this campus and our students.”