Donald Williams Jr., a black student, says his four white roommates physically and emotionally attacked him for months.
Williams says the university's president and his resident advisor ignored all the signs of trouble, even when he reported in writing how his roommates for forcing a bike lock around his neck.
"We argue they created an environment that certainly should have put trained university staff on notice of a greater ill," said Carl Douglas, Williams' attorney.
"It is messed up and I don't think it should have happened," said Jose Lupercio, a student.
The claim alleges breach of contract, negligence and violations of the Equal Housing Act. The university says it has not yet seen the claim.