Forum held on racist slur at UNM

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A UNM student says he feels really bad about writing the n-word on a dorm room door.

That’s according to UNM’s dean of students who says the student will be on probation until he graduates.

The incident is one of several that sparked a forum Thursday to discuss the racial slur.

“There’s been several incidents that have occurred over the last year on this campus that have targeted black students, and all of them have used this word as a means of attack,” said Christina Foster of UNM’s African American Student Services.

The latest incident involving the offensive n-word was just last week when sophomore Cinnamon Burton found it scrawled on a dorm room door on her floor in Laguna Hall.

She’s the only African American who lives there. The Dean of Students Tomas Aguirre investigated and found the freshmen student who wrote it.

Aguirre says the word wasn’t targeted at Burton, but couldn’t comment on why the student did it.

“I was told that it was just out of stupidity,” Burton said. “That it wasn’t directed towards me.”

UNM President Bob Frank created the Civil Campus Council last year to address these kinds of issues.

“Personally, I think it’s a very severe problem. I think there’s not a lot of good understanding about this word,” said Foster.

The council was already scheduled to hold a discussion Thursday about the casual use of the n-word on campus.

“Maybe because of pop culture or rap, the word doesn’t have that same connotation for our younger students and it becomes an issue,” said Aguirre.

Burton says students on her floor have been making demeaning and racist comments for months.

She has since moved to another dorm but plans on meeting to talk to the student behind the racial slur.

“I will be meeting with an individual this week,” said Burton.

Besides probation, UNM’s dean of students is also looking into a unique sanction of restorative justice for the student. He’s looking into options like having the student meet with the African American community. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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