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Tufts President Jean Mayer told reporters Tuesday night he believes that a sophomore fabricated a story that he was attacked in a racially-motivated incident last week.
Although Ian Kremer, a student from Manhattan, Kansas, claimed he was attacked late one night last week near the campus' chapel, other students in the area at that time said earlier this week they heard or saw nothing untoward.
"It is absolutely clear that no attack took place at the time and place that Kremer said. The report Ian Kremer gave is completely denied by a number of independent witnesses," Mayer said.
In response to Mayer, Ian Kremer said, "I absolutely deny that any part of the story is a farce. I stand by my statements. I know I'm telling the truth. [Jean Mayer's] statement last night was terribly inappropriate. As far as I'm concerned, it's not over. I am pursuing legal counsel."
Kremer added, "My primary concern is having my record remain clean."
The student's case has now been transferred to the Dean of Students' office for possible disciplinary action. Dean of Students Bobbie Knable was not available for comment yesterday.
Tufts administrators fear that "reports of the incident will adversely affect minority recruitment," said Rosemarie Van Camp, Tufts director of communications.
However, some students questioned the university's commitment to combating racism at Tufts.
"Tufts has rail-roaded Ian. It is a travesty what the administration is doing with this thing," said Nan M. Glickman, a member of the Tufts Political Action Coalition (TPAC). Calling Kremer a liar, she said, "is a diversionary tactic. The administration, by making him seem like a liar, is trying to discredit him and the left on campus."
Other students, however, said that they do not believe Kremer's story. One Tufts student said, "Nothing ever really happened. Most people are believing Jean Mayer at this point."
David Zona, a Tufts freshman, said, "It's really up in the air. No one wants to make a judgment yet. There are mixed feelings everywhere."
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