The group-firing of 18 resident advisors at San Jose State University last month stemmed from a Christmas party that may have hosted underage drinking, the university says.
But one of the fired RAs has a different story -- he says that he and 17 others were let go as part of a "shameful" PR move to distract attention away from the hate crime incident that transpired last fall, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Senior engineering major Adam Remelman was an RA in the dorm where a black student was allegedly racially harassed by his roommates, the newspaper reported. He was fired following a Christmas party where, he says, nobody consumed alcohol underage -- but the real reason behind his firing is a university determined to look tough, he told the newspaper.
Officials at the school, including RAs, who oversee students in exchange for free room and board and a small stipend, didn't do enough to stop the racial abuse before it turned into national news and a $5 million claim filed against the school, according to some.
Remelman believes that RAs were unfairly blamed for the hate crime incident, and that the school fired him to show off in front of a task force formed to investigate the hate crime, he told the newspaper.