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WashU students reach settlement with club over exclusion

(photo by Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)
The six seniors excluded from a Chicago nightclub speak at a town hall on race at Washington University Oct. 26

By Rachel Lippmann

St. Louis – Six black Washington University seniors who were excluded from a class party at a Chicago nightclub for allegedly violating the dress code will get an apology from the club.

The students were told they could not enter the Mother's Original Night Club because their jeans were too baggy. Their offer to change clothes was rejected, and the men say white students with even baggier clothing were admitted, making their exclusion racially based.

The club has agreed to issue both a public and private apology to the six students and the senior class. The exact language is being worked out. Managers at Original Mother's and other clubs with the same owner will undergo diversity training. The club will participate in a November rally against discrimination in Chicago, and host fundraisers for diversity programs or scholarships for minority students.

The students agreed not to sue the club.

"This was never about the money. It will never be about the money," said Chuka Chike-Obi, one of the six excluded. "It was always about raining awareness about discrimination.

"As we stand here right now, we honestly believe that what we've done, and the agreement we've come with Mother's, and everything that's happened so far, keeps sight on that goal," said Regis Murayi, the senior class treasurer and another student who was excluded.

Mother's confirmed it has reached a settlement with the six students.


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