University of Utah announces new “anti-racism” task force

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SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah announced a new anti-racism task force Thursday to consist of students, administrators and faculty members.

The goal is to represent a “cross section” of campus with 20 members.

'Any type of discrimination on this campus, racism or otherwise, there`s no place here for it,” said university spokesperson Chris Nelson.

Recent incidents of racist graffiti and posters on campus contributed to the Inception of the task force but Nelson said the need for a focused dialogue is a long time coming.

'Racism is a thing and that we`re just not here playing around saying oh we`re feeling targeted. We`re actually in this state, in this country, we actually are being targeted,” said Junior Hawa Dahir.

She thinks the task force could help her and others feel more included.

'I would have classes with like 300 people in it. You know, I would only be the one black person there, the one muslim person there,” she said.

She added she is used to the strange looks she gets for the way she dresses but she hopes the task force helps change perceptions.

Sophomore Aila Amer agrees.

“I do think that a lot of people are not aware of this so I think shining a light to this is a good thing because I think a lot of people will be aware about it and a lot of people will be involved and hopefully when so many people are involved this will stop,” Amer said.

Some students who wished to remain anonymous said they did not feel comfortable publicly sharing their opinion either way about the task force for fear of being targeted. They agreed racism is an issue, but they are not certain a task force will make much difference.