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Iowa State Holds Townhall Meeting to Discuss Recent Racism Incidents

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AMES, Iowa -- Following the presidential election, an Iowa lawmaker wants students to "suck it up".

Earlier this month, (R) State Representative Bobby Kaufman proposed the "Sick it Up Buttercup" bill. It`s legislation that would financially punish public universities that use a portion of their budgets for grief counseling for students upset about the election results. It would also set new criminal penalties for protestors who shut down highways.

Representative Kaufman was invited to a town hall meeting tonight at Iowa State University but he never showed up. However the university’s student government president says it’s still important Kaufman knows why students are upset.

“The “Suck it Up Buttercup” bill has the wrong perception of what’s happening on campus. We are not giving counseling to students because Hillary Clinton lost. We’re counseling people because they are scared for their lives,” says Cole Stadut.

Leading up to the election, there were multiple reports of minority students being racially targeted on campus. Iowa State University officials say about close to two dozen white supremacist posters were hung up around campus.

Tuesdays meeting drew in about 50 students, many of which who expressed their concerns with the goal in mind of creating a more inclusive campus.  However, achieving that goal looked different depending on the students.

Sophomore Apple Amos says, “I think when we can call things what they are, the dialog is a lot easier and the message is more effectively reached. I think that needs to come from official Iowa State leaders and organizations.”

Other students called for school leaders to do away with the euro – centric curriculum. While some urged their peers to hold one another accountable and speak out with they see racism or discrimination.

Sophomore Titus Kinyea, who is an African – American, says the school should focus on recruiting more minorities.

“We need to make Iowa State look more inclusive than it does. When I look around campus I don`t feel represented unlike others may feel.”

The meeting which lasted about an hour, ended peacefully. Similar public forums are being planned for the future.