Public Statement from Colorado State University
April 14, 2020
Several administrative offices at CSU, including the Black/African American Cultural Center and the Office of the President, were made aware yesterday of an incredibly racist and offensive Blackface photo posted on a Snapchat account that appeared to belong to a current CSU student. At this time, the university can confirm that the individual whose name appears on the Instagram account as the person who created the post is not currently a student at CSU.
The Bias Assessment Team has already spoken to the student who alerted us to the offensive post and President McConnell called that student today to thank him and to check in with him.
We remain disgusted at the posting and the fact that it was done in a way where it appeared that the person posting self-identified as a member of our community. We know that because of the rapid pace and easily captured nature of social media images, a number of current CSU students saw this image of a person wearing what appears to be a charcoal face mask and joking about saying a racist epithet while doing so. The overall post is a clear invocation of Blackface and a terrible echo of the social media incident our community experienced this past fall. We recognize that learning that this individual is not a member of the CSU community does not negate that pain or the harm of his posting.
The Race, Bias, and Equity Initiative at CSU is working proactively to improve our campus culture for our students. Once again, the Bias Assessment Team is already responding to assist any students who report the image and/or are impacted by it, and President McConnell has spoken to the initial reporting student directly. Colorado State University also offers extensive support resources to any of our community members who need them, whether in response to this incident or for any other stressor. While the university is in a virtual environment, our services are fully functioning online, including:
- CSU Health Network counseling services
- (970) 491-6053 (during business hours)
- (970) 491-7111 for 24/7 and after-hours assistance
- Additional Student Support Resources List
- Employee Assistance Program – eap.colostate.edu
Finally, although the university’s operations and classes have moved virtual, our commitment to equity remains firm. For specific information about the latest steps taken in the Race, Bias and Equity Initiative, we encourage university community members to read the Source article that posted yesterday, and to look for updates the weekly Source digest next week.