WSU sued for handling of alleged racial incident
PULLMAN, Wash. — A student has filed a lawsuit in federal court against WSU for its handling of an alleged racial incident at a fraternity in February 2015.
Dominique Stewart, a then-18-year-old African-American student at WSU, attended a party at the Phi Delta Theta fraternity on Feb. 21, 2015, when a member of the fraternity allegedly called her a racial slur, according to court documents.
The way WSU handled this and other instances of racial abuse violates Title VI and IX, Stewart alleges in the lawsuit. In their filing for the university’s alleged violation of Title VI, Stewart’s attorney wrote, “WSU is a hostile environment.”
The Office for Equal Opportunity at WSU launched an investigation into the claim two days later. Following a hearing, the fraternity member in question was kicked out of their chapter and the university, according to court documents.
The lawsuit stems from allegations related to a meeting with then-WSU interim Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Melynda Huskey.
In the meeting, Huskey suggested to Stewart and her mother the idea of finding a different place for housing without providing assistance with finding alternative housing.
Huskey also told Stewart’s family nothing could be done in response to requests for Stewart to be escorted to class or other security measures, Stewart claims in the lawsuit.
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