More than 1,000 Yale students, staff attend race relations dialogue days after protest

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NEW HAVEN--On Wednesday evening, students gathered for  a "teach in" at Yale University after a recent spate of racial tensions.

More than 1,000 students and staff packed into Battle Chapel for the discussion on not just race relations, but also minority woman and other underrepresented groups. University leaders also spoke about what they are doing to address the issues after several days of protest.

"It just seems like since it's a big problem on campus I should come out here and try to hear it straight from the people who are leading the protests, why exactly they're doing it," said Matt Graham, a Yale student.

The dialogue was hosted by the school's Afro-American Cultural Center as a response to several minority female students being turned away from a frat party the night before Halloween after being told "white girls only" were allowed. A follow-up Facebook post alerted other students to the incident, and sparked the tensions that led to a protest attended by more than 1,000 on Monday.

Another issue that students were upset about was that the school had sent out an email before Halloween asking students to avoid wearing racially provocative or other possibly offensive costumes.

Students spoke passionately about making a difference to make sure everyone feels included.

Molly Zeff, another student, said, "I love my classes. I love the work I am doing for school right now, which is very connected to my career, but, fighting racism on campus is a lot more important than any of my classes."

The administration says that action will be taken to address racial tension on campus and to make progress on that front.

Some students have already noticed that effort. Elyse Galloway, another student, said of Wednesday's event, "These types of discussions need to happen especially if there are issues present, and not only to bring awareness to issues like this but to lead to intervention and different strategies to make it safe and healthy for everyone involved."