"We're Just Really Tired Of It"

A&M Student Body President Jim Carlson says he's seen and heard enough.

"These have been issues that have been brought up for a long time," Carlson said, "and there's been an on-going, increasing trend over quite a bit of time. We're just really tired of it, and it's time to stand up and do something about it."

It being physical and verbal abuse of international students and minorities. Carlson and fellow student leaders have been talking to students, many of whom say Northgate has a poor reputation.

"The student government as a whole and the student Senate are just expressing a great interest in looking into these kinds of things and saying this is not something we're willing to accept," he said.

Especially when the university's administration is putting an added emphasis on minority admission. "Incidents like this don't help us trying to diversify our student body more at all," Carlson continued.

So the president since April formed a safety task force to address the issue, and he and his fellow leaders have been touring the community, speaking to police and city officials. In fact, Carlson will present their ideas and issues to College Station's council at their next meeting.

"We've been trying to do light surveying over in the Northgate area to try and improve some of the lighting to get it a little bit safer when students are walking around over there," Carlson said. That's in addition to looking at better ways to safely transport students around Northgate if they need it.

While they are in the early, exploratory stages of their work on discrimination, their drive is unquestionable.

"We've got to do everything that we can to ensure that all students have equal opportunity to go and have fun," Carlson said. "We want to make sure that these students feel welcome here."

In a follow-up to an on-going investigation, University Police now say a pair of assaults in the Northgate area last month are most likely not hate crimes. Both an international student and the father of another were attacked by a trio of minors. Police say they believe the attackers only wanted money and a phone, and did not base their crimes on race.


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