Legislative Black Caucus asks OU president to make some changes

    Sen. George Young in a press conference on Friday. (KOKH/Connor Hansen)

    Lawmakers in the Legislative Black Caucus say they made several suggestions to University of Oklahoma President James Gallogly in a meeting with him on Thursday.

    That came after backlash from two separate videos of people in black-face surfaced on social media.

    The caucus made a list of requests, one of them to create a zero-tolerance policy for hate speech on campus, something the university's Black Student Association has already asked for.

    “We stand with the students, the members of the Black Students Association and it’s leadership, in its request to make a better campus," said Sen. George Young, the chair of the black caucus.

    The black caucus also asked Gallogly to create a senior vice president position at the University.

    That person would address racial and cultural issues with students and faculty.

    It also asked the university to use its two vacant seats on the board of regents to bring in more diverse members.

    Senator Young said they need someone to help Gallogly better understand the concerns of those students.

    “Personally, I thought he’s trying," Sen. Young said. "But, I see some room for a lot of work with what he needs to understand about those social issues and how to go about addressing them, particularly with those young people on campus.”

    The university released a statement on Friday acknowledging those concerns, saying in part "President Gallogly agreed to continue the dialogue and provide an update to them about the university’s ongoing efforts.”

    “We’re going to press and make sure that we get some results on this," Sen. Young said. "This is a big issue for us, this is an issue, if we don’t do this as a black caucus, who else will do it?”

    Sen. Young said in a press conference that he was alarmed to hear that OU does have an affirmative action plan, it just hasn't been using it.

    The black caucus also asked Gallogly to provide more funding to support African American programs and to create an enhanced curriculum for all students to address social and cultural concerns.

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