SIU offers plan to boost campus diversity after protests

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CARBONDALE, Ill.  _ Southern Illinois University has responded to student protests against racism with a plan to boost campus diversity.

The university plan released Tuesday comes one day after a student-led protest on its Carbondale campus drew several hundred participants.

The new initiatives include changes to the employee hiring process. Some efforts fall short of demands voiced by protesters.

The march was conceived as a one-day strike to call attention to economic issues such as rising student loan debt and the state budget stalemate’s impact on public higher education in Illinois.

The protest broadened after the release of an anonymous online video that called for the lynching of black students.

University leaders condemned the video, which was later removed by YouTube, and released their own video response urging the campus community to fight discrimination.