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Towson University to Review Its Hate, Bias Reporting Process

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) -- A hate-bias incident on the Towson University campus is sparking more calls for change. A student's treatment of a cafeteria worker is currently under investigation.

Now, the university is reviewing its policies on handling incidents like this.

Meghan McCorkell has reaction from campus.

The new university president at Towson is proposing sweeping changes in the wake of a disturbing incident.

A cafeteria worker in the liberal arts building contacted campus police after she says a student made racist and disruptive comments to her and threw change at her--and that's not all.

"He was also harassing students in the library as well. Just all over the place," said Sey Elle, Black Student Union.

While campus police determined there was no crime...

"The case was referred to our Division of Student Affairs as a possible code of student conduct violation," said Ray Feldmann, Towson University spokesman.

The incident prompted university president Kim Schatzel to write a letter, saying in part: "We condemn hate speech any any racist behavior towards a member of our community, and it will not be tolerated."

Some students say it's part of a much larger problem.

"We need the university to take black safety seriously," said John Gillespie, student activist.

Just last year, students held a sit-in at the Towson president's office, demanding the school address diversity issues.

"The university needs to create a universal hate-bias policy," Gillespie said.

That's what the university president plans to do, trying to build a sense of inclusivity on campus.

"When those minority students come to Towson, do they feel accepted? Do they feel welcome? Do they feel like they can thrive here?" said Feldmann.

"There are several hate-bias incidents and crimes that go unreported," said Elle.

Sey Elle with the Black Student Union says she hopes that changes under the new policy.

"I'm hoping that we can create a Towson where everybody feels like they belong and they feel safe," said Elle.

Under the new policy, the university will institute a stricter timeline for responding to hate and bias incidents. They will also coordinate response efforts.

The student involved in the cafeteria incident could face punishment from the university, ranging from a no contact policy with the victim to expulsion from the school.

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