Student unite to fight hate crime at UNI - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Student unite to fight hate crime at UNI

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by John Wilmer

CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- More than a hundred students, faculty, and staff stood united and without saying a word they spoke volumes against what is happening on their campus.  A silent protest was held outside Maucker Union to take on several incidents that have occurred around UNI.

"There have been Swastikas with references to various Jewish people and so it's been a concern. Two of those incidents have been reported. We've had some incidents of assault and just basically behavior aimed at or geared towards a minority," said Public Safety Director Dave Zarifis.

Carmen, one of the organizers of the silent protest, asked us not to use her last name. She wanted to take part because of what happened to a Latino student who was attacked and beaten while the assailants used racial slurs.

"Since it got out that he was the victim he has been threatened to not speak up against it. He received several hateful phone calls and emails saying that he should go back to where he came from," said Carmen.

Carmen also says this silent protest is a call to action for all UNI students.

"If we make it known that it's not okay in this community then maybe that will also show the perpetrators this isn't acceptable and something will be done. We will find you and this is not okay," said Carmen.

"People who have experienced these types of crimes have a better feel for how to report that so that these kinds of behaviors can be checked and people who commit them are held accountable," said Zarifis.

Officials at UNI say this isn't just a campus issue, it's a community issue. The city of Cedar Falls and the University of Northern Iowa must work together to stop it.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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