January 30, 2002

University to Investigate

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In response to an article on an undisclosed website alleging that Mexican Americans at Cornell are “under siege,” the University stated officially yesterday that it will “vigorously” investigate the specific incidents described in the e-mail, according to Henrik N. Dullea ’61, vice president of University relations.

The e-mail describes two incidents that occurred on Cornell campus on Jan. 26 and Jan. 27 respectively. The first incident involved verbal harassment and ethnic slurs made by a group of seven college-aged white men, in a black or dark blue late-model Chevy pickup truck, to a female and male student. The students were walking on East Avenue between Tower Road and the bridge on Thurston Avenue.

When the two students approached Reservoir Drive, two of the men in the pickup truck chased the students, carrying planks or bats. The students ran to the footbridge at Beebe Lake and the men didn’t pursue the students past the footbridge.

“We are asking all members of the community with information about either one of the incidents to come forward and talk to the police,” said Dullea.

The incident was first described by the female victim in a private e-mail to a few friends that was later circulated and brought to the attention of the University on Jan. 28. After being contacted by a member of Cornell’s bias incident response team, the female student provided a report to the Cornell police in which she stated that she did not know the name of the male friend who had been walking with her the night of the incident.

“The female student wishes to remain anonymous because she is uncomfortable, scared, and only addressed the e-mail to certain people,” said Jacqueline Gomez ’04, the co-president of Asociaci