VCU students frustrated with university’s response after security called on black professor


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A black VCU adjunct professor had security called on her by another professor last Wednesday as she ate breakfast in her class. 

On Monday, the university held a pre-scheduled forum on diversity and inclusion where students spoke about the incident. Many students expressed their outrage during the forum, often speaking against how VCU handled the incident and how the university has not shared further information. 

“I never expected a racial incident like this to happen at my school,” Brianna Scott, a senior at VCU, told 8News.

During the last week of October, VCU visiting professor Caitlin Cherry was beginning her day in the adjunct lounge of the Fine Arts building when a Hispanic associate professor called security on her.

“It is very unfortunate and frustrating,” Scott said. Scott broke the story last week and said she worries about the next group of students coming in.

“It does scare me,” she said.”Mainly for the students who are going to come after me. I leave next semester, but what’s going to happen to the generation that comes after me.”

Scott told 8News she believes the forum is a step in the right direction but hopes more is done.

“The most frustrating thing for a lot of students has been the administration’s response, the slow response, the vague emails,” said Scott. 

Aashir Nasim, the VP for Inclusive Excellence, spoke at the forum.

“On behalf of many others, I apologize to anyone who did not or does not feel like this institution lived up to its core values pledged to the university of inclusion,” he told the crowd.

Scott told 8News she the incident leaves an impact in the classroom. 

“Nobody wants to sit through hours of critique, in the art school with a professor who is racist, potentially other things as well,” Scott said.

8News reached out to Cherry and the other professor, who both refused to comment. VCU also declined to comment on the story. 

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