Racist post stirs controversy at K-State

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – A racist social media post sent by a Kansas State University student has administrators seeking answers and taking action.

pic

The Snapchat post was first published by a young K-State student, showing herself and another female with their faces covered in a dark material with the caption, “Feels good to finally be a (n word.)”

“Kansas State University was tagged today in social media posts that were racist in nature,” the university responded. “The posts were immediately removed from university accounts. Kansas State University does not condone this inappropriate behavior and expects the K-State family to adhere to our principles of community.”

K-State went on to say that the campus climate response team has been notified to address this incident.

The former Kansas State University student who sent the racist social media post apologized Thursday and says she was expelled from school.

“We are sorry about it…It got taken way out of proportion,” Paige Shoemaker tells KSNT News.

The Beta Upsilon Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha at K-State also released a response following the post as the young woman was a former member of the chapter.

We have become aware that a former member of our chapter has posted racist comments on her social media channels. While she did join the Beta Upsilon Chapter at Kansas State University in 2013, she was expelled from the chapter and is no longer affiliated with the organization. Her words and actions certainly do not reflect the values and principles of Zeta Tau Alpha. Our Creed teaches us to look for the good in everyone and to seek understanding in order to gain true wisdom. Our Fraternity’s membership includes women of many races, nationalities and religions and we all strive to seek the noblest in every endeavor.

The Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Pat Bosco says that he is aware that one of their students posted a facially offensive photo on social media na dused one of the most derogatory words in the English language.

“This photo has students, faculty, staff and other members of the K-State family upset. It rightly should, as there is no place for racism at our university, regardless of what the intentions may have been. K-State prides itself on being one family, no matter your race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or abilities. All members of the K-State family deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.”

Interim Associate Provost for Diversity Zelia Wiley released a letter to students faculty and staff that reads:

Dear students, faculty and staff,

On Sept. 15, the university received notice that a derogatory social message and photo was sent out via social media. The involved person is not currently enrolled at the university. It is our understanding the second individual in the photo is not associated with the university.

Immediately upon notification, the Campus Climate Response Team, or CCRT, which consists of representatives from the Office of Diversity, Office of Institutional Equity, Office of Student Life, the K-State Student Union and Division of Communications and Marketing, met to address this recent social media posting. This racially offensive photo with a derogatory message has upset the K-State family and is not in concert with our principles of community. Such messages on social media are harmful to all.

In cooperation with the Office of Student Life and the Office of Institutional Equity, or OIE, the university will reinforce its value for diversity and inclusion while also communicating our principles of community for all students, faculty and staff. As an integral part of the response to this concern, the university will offer support services to any affected student and also will contact the involved parties. This incident supports our continued proactive outreach and cultural training efforts to the students, faculty and staff. Additionally, our office is working diligently with the Student Governing Association, or SGA, its multicultural student coordinator and interested student groups to realize its Diversity 2025 goals, which include social justice.

The Office of Diversity mentors and advises our various multicultural student organizations, especially our core groups — the Black Student Union, or BSU; Hispanic American Leadership Organization, or HALO; Asian American Student Union; and Native American Student Association — who have shown leadership in raising the university’s awareness to these incidents in a thoughtful way. We also support our affinity groups, Black Faculty Staff Alliance, or BFSA, Alianza, LGBTQ Faculty Staff Alliance and Indigenous Alliance who are not immune to such comments and yet they work to support and mentor our future leaders.

As members of the K-State family, we should always visualize and work toward a safe, welcoming environment for our community. I and other members of the CCRT welcome the opportunity to speak with our affected students and employees as we continue create a culture of inclusion for the entire K-State family.

Yours in service,
Dr. Zelia Wiley

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s