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By STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
San Jose State University, scene of a racially tinged series of hazing incidents involving a freshman student from Bakersfield, has fired resident advisers at several of its dorms, university officials told NBC Bay Area this week.
University spokesperson Pat Lopez Harris told the television station 18 resident advisers, comprising 20 percent of the university's overall housing staff, were fired or resigned.
She could not comment on why the employees were let go because it is a "personnel matter," but several students said an incident involving underage drinking on campus prompted the purge.
But the employee shakeup follows by seven months a complaint by a black student that he had been harassed by four white roommates at a campus dorm.
Logan Beaschler of Bakersfield, 18 at the time, was among four students accused of intimidating their black, then-17-year-old roommate by displaying a Confederate flag, writing a racial slur on a living room dry-erase board, repeatedly locking him in his room and hooking a U-shaped bicycle lock around his neck.
Beaschler faces misdemeanor hate-crime and battery charges and faces up to a year in jail. He pleaded not guilty in Santa Clara County Superior Court in January.
Last month, the alleged victim, Donald Williams Jr., filed a $5 million claim against the university.
Harris told the TV station the firing of resident advisers is unrelated.
San Jose State is filling the 18 open positions with existing staff and bringing in RAs hired for fall.