CHARLOTTE, N.C. - UPDATE Friday, September 28, 5:00 p.m. - UNC Charlotte officials have identified a male student as the person responsible for hanging a racially insensitive sign above a water fountain on the school's campus, after they came forward admitting to the social post.
School authorities were first notified of the sign after a social media post emerged Wednesday night that showed a sign reading 'colored' was placed above a water fountain in Holhouser Hall dormatories on campus.
After a strong response from staff and students alike, the student has stepped forward and has taken responsibility for the sign, the photo, and the original post on Snapchat, saying "I am deeply sorry for all that came out of this."
The University has said that they will meet with the student to review the incident and discuss possible violations of the Student Code of Responsibility or any possible consequences.
The full statement from the chancellor of the school can be read below:
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
I want to update you on an incident this week involving a picture that was posted and reposted on social media. The image showed a racially offensive sign affixed over a drinking fountain situated in Holshouser Hall. Staff members from across the campus mobilized to investigate the incident. Organizations and external media outlets took notice of our campus communications and updates.
Last night, a student resident of Holshouser came forward to Housing and Residence Life staff to take responsibility for the sign, the photograph, and the initial post of the image on Snapchat. In a written message, the student said that “[t]here was no intention to hurt anyone or insinuate that UNC Charlotte represented or approved of racist beliefs, nor do I believe in them. I do not support or encourage any racist agendas... I am deeply sorry for all that came out of this.” The student also indicated that his actions were a poor attempt at humor. There is nothing humorous about what he did. Let me be very clear that intolerance and bigotry have no place within the inclusive culture we strive to achieve at UNC Charlotte.
Since this incident came to light on Wednesday night, there has been a considerable response from within our University community and beyond. I have heard from and spoken with many students, faculty, and staff members. I regret that any member of our community was upset or fearful as a result of the insensitivity of another.
University officials will meet with the individual who has taken responsibility to review the incident under the Student Code of Responsibility and discuss how his actions have affected members of our community. Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Kevin Bailey and I will continue to work with our Student Government Association to advance important dialogue like the conversation in which I participated last evening with the SGA.
Philip L. Dubois
University of North Carolina Charlotte officials are investigating the posting of a racially offensive sign on campus Wednesday night.
A sign reading 'colored' was allegedly placed above a water fountain on the UNCC campus sometime Wednesday evening, according to a statement by the school.
University looking into alleged offensive sign https://t.co/AnWXdt4wjI— UNC Charlotte (@unccharlotte) September 28, 2017
Thursday night University officials determined the offensive sign was posted near a water fountain that matches one in Holshouser Hall, a residence building on campus.
Staff met with Houlshouser residents Thursday evening to discuss what happened.
“To the person who did it, God bless you,” sophomore Miracle Okafor-Paul said. “I hope you change your mentality because there's so much in life and so much love in people, for you to have that much hate and display it like that, I feel like you need help.”
School officials never found the sign, but a photo of it taken on Snapchat was quick to circulate on campus.
“It's really hurtful to see all the pain this caused,” student government press secretary Anna Valdez said. “It's clearly targeted towards our black students. It's sad to see that they feel like they're being targeted in a place where they're supposed to feel at home and safe.”
Tracey Allsbrook, the UNCC student body president, tweeted her reaction to the photo, calling on all to stand up against 'hatred in any form.'
We are aware of the poster that was posted, and we assure you all we are looking into the incident. #uncc— Tracey Allsbrook (@ItsTraceyBaby) September 28, 2017
It saddens me that post such as these are still taking place especially in our campus community. But in times such as these it's important..— Tracey Allsbrook (@ItsTraceyBaby) September 28, 2017
us to remember that we are to continue to stand together,— Tracey Allsbrook (@ItsTraceyBaby) September 28, 2017
and stand up against hatred in any form.
UNCC also says that all University buildings have been canvassed and security camera footage is being reviewed in relation to the posting of the sign.
It is believed that the image of the sign was initially posted on Snapchat, with the caption "wait a minute..." typed across the photo.
UNCC officials released a full statement Thursday. It reads:
A UNC Charlotte investigation began Wednesday night into a racially offensive sign depicted in a photo posted on social media. While the image provides no clear indication of the sign's location, some comments have indicated that it had been placed on campus. Housing and Residence Life staff members, the Dean of Students Office, and Police and Public Safety have been looking into this matter.
At this time, all University buildings have been canvassed and security camera footage is being reviewed as well. It is believed that the image was initially posted on Snapchat. Individuals who have any helpful information should contact the UNC Charlotte Police and Public Safety Department via the LiveSafe app or by calling 704-687-8300.