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Calls for Arizona’s administrator to be ousted are growing

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Students, faculty and community members at the University of Arizona are calling for the ouster of the university’s administration after a September 30 incident in which it called the police on a strange black student with a disability.

Maribel Alvarez, interim assistant vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, was involved in a verbal altercation with Kai Harriott, president of the university’s Black Student Union. Harriott tried to schedule a meeting with Alvarez, and a recording of their conversation released online shows Harriott expressed confusion as to why Alvarez would not meet with her during the scheduled meeting, according to AZCentral.

“Because I have nothing to talk to you about,” Alvarez told Harriot in the recording.

The previous incident occurred between Harriott, who uses a wheelchair, and Alvarez on Aug. 31, when Harriott testified that she had been assaulted and was upset by Alvarez’s response. When Harriott tried to end the conversation and leave, she said Alvarez blocked her wheelchair and put his fingers in Harriott’s face, according to AZCentral.com. The conversation escalated, and Alvarez called campus police and also demanded that Harriott be banned from the Martin Luther King Jr. building, which houses the African American Student Affairs and Diversity and Inclusion Division, which supports marginalized students and which Alvarez oversees. placed.

An open letter addressed to university administration and signed by alumni, faculty and members of the public calls for Alvarez to be suspended pending an investigation, AZCentral.com reported.

UA President Robert Robbins sent answer to students, faculty, staff and others on the university’s group e-mail list on Nov. 1, stating that the university would support any student, faculty or staff member who contacted law enforcement. He said Alvarez will remain in his position while university officials plan to restructure the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

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