Jul 18,2007 00:00
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Students and faculty at the only law school in Rhode Island are demanding a name change because Ralph Papitto used a racial slur during a meeting.
Papitto, the former chairman of Nortek who has given millions of dollars to Roger Williams University and the Ralph R. Papitto School of Law, told a radio talk show host that the slur "just slipped out."
"I never even knew I said it," he told WPRO.
The Providence Journal reported Saturday that Papitto, after using the slur at a meeting of the school's trustees, tried for two months to get three of his colleagues removed from the board because they had asked him to resign. By late Monday, at least 75 law students had signed petitions asking that his name be removed from the law school.
"This just destroys your sense of pride in your school," Majessire Smith, president of the multicultural law student association, told the newspaper. "It's really important that the student body not tolerate this kind of outrage."
Papitto resigned from the board July 9 and was honored with emeritus status.
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