A group of about 10 Georgetown students gathered for dinner in The Tombs last night to express their disapproval of alleged incidents of discrimination at the restaurant and to demand equitable treatment for all customers.

Sumeet Singh Mitter (COL `05) organized a campaign for equitable treatment for all customers at The Tombs after he said his brother was harassed by the restaurant’s employees.

Mitter said he and his brother, Navroop Pal Singh Mitter, who was visiting from out of town, entered The Tombs two weeks ago so that his brother could use the ATM. His brother, a member of the Sikh faith, wears a long beard and a turban.

Mitter said he saw a waiter staring at his brother. The waiter asked the manager to come over, Mitter said, and the manager approached his brother and repeatedly asked him if there was a problem.

Mitter described the manager’s attitude as unnecessarily hostile and attributed his actions to ethnic discrimination.

A manager at The Tombs declined comment Thursday evening.

After submitting a written complaint to The Tombs, Mitter formed an ad hoc committee to petition for a formal apology to the Mitter family and a more welcoming atmosphere at The Tombs.

“It is my belief that Navroop was profiled upon his entry to The Tombs based upon physical appearance, that he was inappropriately approached and thereby harassed by the wait staff and on-duty management of The Tombs,” Mitter wrote in a letter to The Tombs.

At least 30 other Georgetown students signed a copy of the same letter and presented it to the management at The Tombs Wednesday night. The students at the dine-in last night delivered almost 30 letters to the management.

The letter asks for a public apology to the Mitter family, as well an internal review of the staff of The Tombs. The students who signed the letter also requested a public acknowledgment stating that The Tombs is a welcoming environment for all people.

The students who came together for the dine-in gathered to claim what they called their right to a welcoming environment.

“This is our space also,” Mitter said. “People shouldn’t have to hesitate to come here. And that’s what we want: no hesitation.”

Mitter said other students have also noticed a hostile environment in The Tombs.

Erin Meadors (COL `05), who signed one of the letters to The Tombs’ management, said she has had experiences at The Tombs that seem to suggest a general atmosphere of discrimination.

Meadors said that the incident involving Mitter’s brother is one example of “an environment where people felt it wasn’t a safe space for all Georgetown students.”

“It’s things like this that display the creation of a hostile environment,” she said.

The students asked for their demands to be met by May 5.

Mitter said he does not want to resort to a boycott of The Tombs, but he wants to give the establishment time to respond. If The Tombs has not responded by May 5, he plans to make this a continuing campaign, he said.

Other students, however, said that The Tombs is a welcoming environment and a friendly place to get food off campus.

“At [The] Tombs, you can always count on good food, good service and good company,” Chris Dittmeier (SFS `08) said. “It’s just a matter of experience. Other than the occasional wait to get into The Tombs, I can’t think of anything bad about it.”

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