​Are college campuses becoming more racist?

NEW YORK -- The disturbing racist videos at the University of Oklahoma may be shocking, but for many, not surprising. According to the Department of Education, the number of racial complaints reported on college campuses has increased from 555 in 2009 to 939 last year.

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education has chronicled campus racial incidents on its website for the last two decades, averaging about 50 incidents a year. To fight intolerance on campuses, black students across the country launched an Internet campaign called "I too am."

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NYU student Devan Worth
CBS News

New York University sophomore Devan Worth helped organize their campus campaign. She told me she felt really alienated when she first arrived at school.

"A lot of my interactions were with white students who didn't understand my experience," said Worth. "I had to teach everyone how to treat me like a person, honestly."

University of Maryland professor Julie Park says her study on campus racial climates shows 48 percent of white students say they had at least one close friend of another race, compared to 74 of blacks, 92 percent of Latinos and 84 percent of Asians.

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CBS News

"We found that those students who went to more diverse institutions tended to have higher level of close interracial friendship, so it really speaks to the importance of universities doing their job to attract diverse student bodies in the first place," said Park.

At NYU, Devan Worth says the administration is listening to their concerns. That's the hope of many students across the country chanting for change.

  • Elaine Quijano

    Elaine Quijano was named a CBS News correspondent in January 2010. Quijano reports for "CBS This Morning" and the "CBS Evening News," and contributes across all CBS News platforms. She is based in New York.