Students upset about discrimination

Students upset about discrimination

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Michelle Martinez is consoled after speaking about allegations that have been brought against fellow student Johanis Tadeo in the Board of Education meeting in Building 3.
Photo: August Frank
Michelle Martinez is consoled after speaking about allegations that have been brought against fellow student Johanis Tadeo in the Board of Education meeting in Building 3.Photo: August Frank

Michelle Martinez is consoled after speaking about discrimination at the Board of Education meeting in Building 3.
Photo: August Frank

Johanis Tadeo:
Full-time Lane student

My goal is to graduate this June and be the first in my family to complete a post-secondary education. Unfortunately, this goal has been disrupted by four citations regarding complaints against me, two of which included my suspension for four and a half weeks.

I have been accused of intimidation, threats, verbal abuse, possession of alcoholic beverages, disruptive behavior and many, many more … I was responsible for one of the charges … which was bringing wine to a student event and I accepted full consequences.

The other charges, however, are erroneous and have been used against me four times now, even though the college investigations have demonstrated to be unsustained. These charges started by rumors, gossip and hearsay by a couple of members of ASLCC and staff members of the Multicultural Center.

Public Safety has harassed me and interrogated me multiple times because another student described me as a gang member who wears bandanas and carries knives.

Michelle Martinez:
Former Lane student

The color of our skin has been serving as an indicator of crime and guilt for too long and we’re tired of it. Discrimination is happening on your campus, specifically within the multi-cultural center, which is a space designed specifically for people of color.

It is supposed to be a safe space, but recently it has been anything but safe … recently our door for the union office was removed. A notice on the door said for the safety and security of the multi-cultural center. So that made me feel like the union for people of color posed some sort of threat to the people we were intimidating, I guess.

They removed the door completely off the hinges, so there was no privacy. There was no safety. There was nothing.

I submitted a complaint against the people involved in the incident. It took a little over a week for me to receive a response. In that time I spoke with one of the people I had complained against and apparently she knew that I had submitted a complaint against her and she knew all the details of the complaint. That violated my confidentiality and my safety.

Manuel Mejia: Multi-cultural programs coordinator

The multi-cultural center … is toxic for the students of leadership at LCC … as a student of color, I do not feel safe in the multi-cultural center. That is the last place I want to be in.

Right now, there are no students of color working in the center. They have all been fired and this is not something that has ever been done in my experience here at Lane.

Mariana Paredones:
Oregon Students of Color Coalition co-chair

I want to bring attention and awareness … expose the toxic and unsafe environment in the multi-cultural center, the failed complaints of some and apathy of support that coexists within our college. I’m here to demand action and support from you. For a school that claims diversity and success, it concerns and worries me, for I have not seen this among my peers.

I cannot be silenced any more because I saw that yesterday that when you are silent, tragedy occurs. A friend of mine, Marcus Wheeler, died yesterday. He committed suicide on campus because he felt that he did not have support where he was. He sent me messages saying “I’m trying to survive in an all-white school and I cannot make it any more.”

I don’t want this to happen to any other people. My friend Johanis … was suspended for those four weeks he texted me, saying, ‘I almost took my life.’

Give us back our door. Give us a fair and equitable chance at higher education, long-term investigation in the complaints system and take action to give justice for Tadeo.

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