On Tuesday, BGSU President Rodney Rodgers sat down for an interview with BG24 Senior Reporter Ralen Cleveland to discuss the situation regarding BGSU groundskeeper Kevin Paridon’s racist Facebook posts over the weekend, and the investigation the process is conducting following the alleged misconduct.
"I've asked that be fast tracked. I would hope we would have our investigation completed, certainly this week. We want to make sure that we have crossed all the Ts ... each employee, whether they're a faculty member of a staff member, we've got to follow the due process, but I certainly hope we finish this up very quickly and once that decision is made we will update the community," he said.
Over the weekend, Paridon was seen making racist comments under 13abc’s Facebook live stream. Since then, the university has put Paridon on paid administrative leave, leading to protests on campus Monday for social justice — led by members of the BGSU faculty. Rogers was asked for his stance on the matter and why the administration has supposedly not made comments regarding Black-Lives-Matter-type of events.
"Well I will say Black lives matter. Absolutely. I'm unaware that we haven't said that. I hope it's obvious. Absolutely Black lives matter. I don't know if you saw the comment we made as soon as we learned about this situation, and we've done that in the past as well when other situations have arisen, and we will do it in the future when situations like this arise ... Black lives matter."
Rogers was also asked what the university has planned moving forward after such an instance.
"I think absolutely coming out of this, and it wasn't just this employee at Bowling Green, it goes back to everything we've seen all summer long whether it be in Kenosha or Minnesota wherever it be, we need to find a way to look forward and to educate each other to understand the importance of diversity and inclusion. And we've talked about this for so many years in higher ed, it is time for us to do something about it ... maybe what we need to do is require people to do diversity education.
When Cleveland brought up the possibility of implementing said changes next year, Rogers immediately retorted that he’d like them implemented sooner than expected.
“I think we need to look at it this Fall,” he said.