ALBION, Mich. (WOOD) — Questions linger over how Albion College administrators are handling the fallout from men’s basketball coach Jody May allegedly using a racial slur at practice.
One person demanding answers is the president of the college’s own student senate, Sheridan Leinbach.
“I immediately started investigating knowing that as a senate, we would need to address this issue,” Leinbach said.
Leinbach said the organization has been in talks with Albion men’s basketball players since the incident, in which May also allegedly repeated the slur four times during a practice late last month.
In a letter sent out Monday, Albion College Interim President Joe Calvaruso said they “have investigated this incident and taken steps to address it. The Coach has apologized to the team for the hurtful impact his words have caused. He has sat out several games. He will continue to be involved in cultural sensitivity training.”
Leinbach said the incident involving May is isolated but believes more could have been done.
“As a senate, we are appalled by the actions that were taken, the things that were said,” Leinbach said. “We’re extremely disappointed by the lack of action from the interim president and the administration on and across campus.”
She added the issue stems more from the college’s handling of these types of situations.
“There wasn’t action that we saw from the interim president or the dean’s offices for a couple of days after,” Leinbach explained. “Their idea, or what they said happened in this incident, and what they’re responding to … is not what I’ve heard from students or from the basketball players themselves.
Leinbach, a junior, added the systemic manner and lack of timeliness date back years to previous administrations, as recent as her freshman year: when she says racist graffiti was discovered, but not deemed a priority.
“They were like ‘We’re not really going to put any cameras. There’s like an investigation.’ But it was more of like, ‘If you see something happen, let us know,'” Leinbach said. “It wasn’t a formal investigation, and the speed — while those students were eventually identified and asked to leave campus — it took nearly an entire semester. … That’s something that needs to be happening much more quickly. when it’s involving students’ daily lives, especially where they live and work.”
A spokesperson for Albion College told News 8 Tuesday they “don’t have anything to add at this time” to the letter sent out by Calvaruso.
According to Leinbach, the student senate unanimously passed a resolution calling on college leadership, the interim president, dean and board of trustees, to make sweeping changes. She also plans to meet with Calvaruso and the dean this week.
“We do want to work with them,” Leinbach said. “But if this is where they’re ending this, then we’re going to take it upon ourselves at this point with faculty and professors.”