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Council turns attention to Latino student concerns, bridge incident

After a Beta Bridge Hispanic Heritage Week message was painted over with a racially offensive slogan, Student Council passed a resolution Tuesday to paint the bridge with a message promoting cultural tolerance.

On March 27, La Sociedad Latina painted the bridge for Hispanic Heritage Week only to discover the next day that it had been painted over with the words "Durty Sanchez, Donde Está?" and a painting of a Mexican sombrero.

In response to offended students, College Rep. Nathan A. Cook proposed a resolution which denounced the actions of the students who re-painted the bridge and called for Council to take a stand against racism.

"This is an opportunity to make it clear that we are in favor of tolerance, that everyone is welcome at the University and that offensive statements like those made on the bridge have no place here," Cook said.

Council passed the resolution by voice vote and will decide on an appropriate message within the next week.

He said he hopes the University community supports Council's initiative. "It would be a shame if we had not responded to such a blatantly intolerant act ... I hope that the entire University community will unite behind this initiative and show their support of diversity and tolerance," he added.

Asst. Dean of Students Pablo J. Davis has worked closely with the Latino community to speak out against the vandalism of Beta Bridge.

"What I find so encouraging about the resolution is it promotes a broader sense of brother and sisterhood within the community," Davis said.

He said he also was encouraged since the Latino community did not present the resolution. "It makes me and La Sociedad Latina feel much less alone," he said.

Cook said he believes the majority of the student body would condemn the painting of the bridge.