SIU launches probe after complaints of racist comments

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CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) _ Reports of racial epithets by some Southern Illinois University students at Carbondale campus residence hall forums have prompted an investigation by school officials.

University spokeswoman Rae Goldsmith tells The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan ( ) the inquiry was launched in response to a formal complaint.

Freshman Leilani Bartlett, who’s black, alleges in a video posted online that during open forums at her dormitory earlier this month, student supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump used the N-word and said black students should “go back to Africa,” among other things.

Interim Chancellor Brad Colwell responded with an open letter calling on students to uphold “values of respect for individuals, diversity and inclusion.”

He says that “anything less diminishes” everyone and free speech is right and value to be used respectfully and wisely.