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Georgia Tech student says she was racially harassed | News

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Georgia Tech student says she was racially harassed

ATLANTA -- Georgia Tech officials are conducting an investigation into an alleged racial incident involving a campus fraternity.

Phi Delta Theta is conducting its own investigation as well as Georgia Tech.

The victim, a black female, fourth year business major, talked to 11 Alive News about the incident. She asked not to be identified because of the alleged hatred involved in the incident that happened on August 11, 2015.

The incident came to light when the student posted her experience on Twitter. The topic was trending for a time and sparked a discussion about what many black student consider a systemic problem at the college.

The female student said this is not the first time she has experienced racism on campus, but she said she has experienced nothing like what happened recently. “As far as somebody blatantly saying the n-word to me like that,” she said. “Especially being attacked by a group of men, that's never happened to me before.”

She said she was walking to her car on Fowler Street, which was parked in front of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house when she was verbally assaulted by three white male members hanging out a window. “I felt like they looked at my blackness as a joke,” she said. “It was demoralizing, I felt unsafe.”

She posted her experience on Twitter and was overwhelmed by the response from other students who said the same thing happened to them. It sparked a demonstration on August 20, 2015 in front of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house by students involved in black student organizations.

Georgia Tech released a statement from Vice President of Student Life, John Stein:

“The Georgia Institute of Technology does not condone discriminatory language or behavior and is taking this matter very seriously. Upon learning of the student’s report of inappropriate language, our leadership began immediate action. To date, the president and senior leadership have met with students concerning this matter and are working with them to continue to identify and implement actions to make the campus more inclusive, including establishing a task force focused on the African-American student experience. In addition, the Office of Student Integrity has initiated an investigation. Georgia Tech is committed to embracing diversity in all forms, creating a healthy learning environment for students.”

The international chapter of Phi Delta Theta emailed a statement to 11 Alive News:

"Oxford, Ohio, August 20 - Last week Phi Delta Theta became aware of discriminatory speech allegations made against the Georgia Delta Chapter at Georgia Tech University. The allegations stemmed from a student walking by the facility who would later report via social media of their experience.

Since learning of the incident, Phi Delta Theta officials have been working in conjunction with alumni and Georgia Tech University officials to conduct an investigation. Through a preliminary investigation there is no indication that members of the Phi Delta Theta chapter at Georgia Tech were involved in such an act. Phi Delta Theta was founded on the principles of Friendship, Sound Learning, and Rectitude. Any behavior that contradicts the spirit of inclusion and sensitivity to multicultural issues would be in violation of these principles and anyone determined to be involved will be held accountable."

The black female student said she hopes more students with similar experiences come forward so that the college realizes that it happens continuously.

“Just because there's no video doesn't mean that it didn't happen,” she said. “Just because you're a minority doesn't mean that you shouldn't be able to walk down the street without being attacked.”