PULLMAN —In partnership with the Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs (CAPAA), WSU will host a community forum Friday, Feb. 15 from 2 to 3 p.m. in Lighty Student Services Building 405.
 
Commission members decided to host the forum to show support for a student who was assaulted in a Pullman bar on Jan. 14
 
 The student, a Korean American who suffered a broken jaw, said he believes the attack was racially motivated.
 
The Pullman Police Department is still searching for the person or persons responsible. According to Chief Ted Weatherly, nobody in the bar at the time of the assault admitted to witnessing it. Pullman Police continue to encourage anyone with information to come forward.
 
Ellen Abellera, CAPAA executive director, said she hopes the forum will have a positive impact on the WSU community and beyond. “I sincerely hope people realize that hate crimes are occurring everywhere, and that as communities, we need to work together to resolve these issues and bring them to the forefront,” she said.
 
On the forum’s agenda is a brief overview of the incident, an update from Weatherly on the status of the case, and a brief report on the various ways WSU responds to incidents of this nature.
 
Time will be reserved for discussion. The victim, along with his parents, is scheduled to participate in the forum, but his mouth is wired shut which limits his ability to speak.
 
“He is very appreciative of the support he’s received from the WSU community and around the state,” said John Hughes, the student’s uncle. “It is his wish that Friday’s forum focuses not so much on him, but rather the larger issue at hand—how can we make WSU a safer place for everyone.”
 
Ron Chew and Chair Doug Heyamoto will represent the commission at the forum which will also be attended by Sharon Ortiz from the Washington State Human Rights Commission.
 
Participating from WSU will be Michael J. Tate, vice president for The Division of Student Affairs, Equity and Diversity, Luci Loera, dean of students and chair of WSU’s Campus Climate Response Team, and other interested faculty, staff, and students. Members of the public are encouraged to attend.
 
“One of the things we hope for as a result of the commission’s presence in our campus is a renewed effort community-wide to encourage witnesses of the assault to come forward and share information that may help resolve this
case,” said Tate.