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SJSU President Acknowledges Inadequate Response To Student Racial Harassment

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Students march during an NAACP protest at San Jose State University, November 25, 2013. (Kiet Do/CBS)

Students march during an NAACP protest at San Jose State University, November 25, 2013. (Kiet Do/CBS)

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Mike Colgan, who has worked in Bay Area radio for more than 40 year...
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SAN JOSE (KCBS) – The president of  San Jose State University acknowledged Monday the school has failed to adequately address the racial harassing of a black student in a campus dorm.

Meanwhile, the NAACP called on prosecutors Monday to file felony charges against the four white students accused. Currently they are facing misdemeanor hate-crime and battery charges.

In an open letter address to the university, SJSU President Mohammad Qayoumi said the school will appoint an independent expert to look into the case.

How the abuse of the student could have gone on for weeks is one of the questions that needs to be answered, said Qayoumi.

The four white students allegedly taunted their freshman dorm-mate with racial slurs, barricaded him in his room and placed a U-shaped bicycle lock around his neck, according to police.

At San Jose State Monday – in front of the statue of 1968 Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos giving the black power closed fist salute – NAACP National Board member Alice Huffman called for felony charges against the accused students.

“They were motivated by racial hate and planned in concert with intentional, premeditated offenses that rise to the level of a federal hate crime,” she said.

Huffman went on to say the students planned their criminal acts against their roommate because of his race and they barricaded him in the room, which she called a form of kidnapping.

Qayoumi seemed to agree with the NAACP’s call for the charges to be upgraded.

“When you look at such heinous crimes as this, they certainly are no minor offense,” Qayoumi said.

The four students have been placed on interim suspension pending the outcome of the investigation.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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