Rally Targets Rutgers President He Insists That Remarks about Race Were Not What He Intended

Article excerpt

More than 700 Rutgers University students rallied Wednesday to demand the school president's resignation, refusing to accept his apology for a remark about race and test scores.

A day after a sit-in at center court stopped a basketball game, a mixture of minority and white students gathered at the state university's main campus to listen to speakers and shout slogans.

"If you're putting a basketball in a hoop you are OK with this university," said one speaker, senior Rodney Jackson. "If you are a person of color doing anything besides that you have no respect at this university."

Organizers of the rally had called on students to walk out of classes to join the rally, but many students chose to stay in class.

President Francis Lawrence has repeatedly said his remark was a mistake and not what he meant, but some students and faculty members insist that he must resign.

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Lawrence blamed the controversy on a misunderstanding.

"They've made their statements, and now no further disruptions will be appropriate," Lawrence said, alluding to the protesters. Asked if campus police would do anything to prevent further demonstrations, he said only: "I'm not going to theorize on it."

During his news conference, 200 or more students filled a hallway outside, clamoring to get in.

Armed campus police stood outside the door, limiting access to the press. …