A former university student was arrested for faking a racial hate crime and framing a local fraternity, which led to the shutdown of classes. However, despite her charges, the college president has come forward with a controversial response.
The University of La Verne in Los Angeles County was scrambling for answers and security in the wake of a series of hate crimes against racial minorities on campus. Thankfully, the events turned out to be a hoax. Former La Verne student Anayelli Dominguez-Pena was arrested and charged with staging a hate crime and perpetuating herself as the victim.
Dominguez-Pena allegedly intended to frame an innocent fraternity and stir up division among students and staff members. She was charged with two felonies and two misdemeanors, including making criminal threats, perjury, and electronic impersonation, as well as six counts of filing a false police report.
According to The College Fix, Dominguez-Pena was arrested for sending “a series of racially-based threats” directed toward herself via text message, the school confirmed. The threats were reportedly so severe that the university “canceled classes for a day” in order to “reset” and handle the possible danger.
“First Generation, First in my Family to receive a college degree,” Dominguez-Pena later wrote on Facebook. “This is not only the result of my hard work, this is the outcome of all the sacrifices my parents have made for 24 years, this is not only my degree but this is their degree. This is also for all the colored people who are being doubted of their potential, you can do it and you will do it.”
The crimes were allegedly committed before the student group leader graduated and include placing a “smoking backpack” in her car as evidence of a hate crime against her and other members of the student organization, The Los Angeles Times reports. Police chief Nick Paz concluded that Dominguez-Pena pretended to be the fraternity president in an effort “to instigate some racial issues within the university.”
“She was sending messages to certain people and the comments that were being sent were of a racial nature,” Paz said in a statement.
The electronic threats were traced back to Dominguez-Pena with the help of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s High Tech Crime Unit and the Computer Forensics Unit as well as the Santa Clara Police Department and the Silicon Valley Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team. Although the evidence has mounted against her, the school has come forward with a bizarre response to the findings.
Despite assuring students and staff members that it is taking the events seriously, the school has responded to the revelation that the hate crime was faked by issuing a list of diversity mandates to ensure minority students feel included. Instead of addressing the hoax, the University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman boasted of the school’s dedication to diversity.
“Over the past year, the university has implemented mandatory diversity training for all faculty and staff; required training addressing unconscious biases and equitable practices for all persons serving on search committees; offered workshops for faculty on how to create inclusive environments and implement diversity and inclusivity framework within curriculum; strengthened the office of Diversity and Inclusion through the hire of a new assistant director; and opened the Ludwick Center for Spirituality, Cultural Understanding, and Community Engagement,” Lieberman said.
Lieberman gleefully added that “listening and discussion sessions” on how to “create classroom inclusivity” have been scheduled that will reportedly view everything through “an equity lens.” A program intended to implement “measures on cultural awareness/competency” was also announced.
Lieberman wanted to ensure the community that the hoax won’t hinder the school from “sincere and necessary work of addressing the very real issues of race and social justice” on both a local and national level. She confirmed that the school would respect the outcome of the investigation.
The school has made it clear that it’s focusing on making minority students feel heard and welcome. However, nothing has been said of the innocent fraternity members who have been slandered as violent racists.
Disturbingly, the school has proven that it cares more for certain students based on their physical attributes rather than merit, morality, or abiding by the law.