Scholarship News

"Inexcusable" Racially-Charged Snapchats Prompt University Investigation


September 28, 2016
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
Within 48 hours, two incidents involving racially-charged photos surfaced at the University of North Dakota. The pictures were posted to Snapchat with the captions Black Lives Matter and Locked the black b—h out. UND President Mark Kennedy is appalled at the events and stated that there is much work to do at the University of North Dakota.

Within 48 hours, two incidents involving racially-charged photos surfaced at the University of North Dakota. The pictures were posted to Snapchat with the captions "Black Lives Matter" and "Locked the black b—h out." UND President Mark Kennedy is "appalled" at the events and stated that there is "much work to do at the University of North Dakota."

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The first picture showed three white students in a UND dorm with the caption "locked the black b—h out." Though it is unclear as to what prompted the picture, it allegedly began with "three students stealing another student's phone" while she was out of the room and posting it to her Snapchat story. Roughly 24 hours later, a second picture surfaced, revealing four white UND students in blackface and with the caption "Black Lives Matter."

In a statement issued by UND President Mark Kennedy, he expressed his disappointment in seeing that there are "people in [our] university community who don't know that the kind of behavior and messaging demonstrated in these two photos is not ok, and that, in fact, it is inexcusable." Kennedy is "directing [his] team to explore best practices for diversity education amongst premier institutions" and is also collaborating with the "AVP for Diversity and Inclusion University Senate to bring it a reality at UND. Currently, the UND Police Department and the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities are investigating both incidents.

In your opinion, what disciplinary action, if any, should be taken? Share your thoughts and start a meaningful discussion.

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Tryshana G  on  11/1/2016 4:09:16 PM commented:

We are all people. And I know we all groan and say we've heard this spill a million times. Well im asking you to hear it again. Because something is not getting across. At some point these kids felt their actions were okay. Which they were not. The actions that should be taken need to have a imprint. Everyone makes mistakes and this is coming from a African American teenager. I think expolsion is a little harsh. But I also think that them taking a break from the campus for a while is what should be done. Forgiveness is a big thing that we need to mend this broken society. I feel they should consider the victims point of view. And their opinion. That's honestly how I feel.

Josephine B.  on  10/5/2016 11:04:09 AM commented:

In all honesty these students should be expelled. "Well punishment would work better" no what these students did isn't venial. No body knows if what they did was an act of racism or "for fun" but they should definitely not be "punished" for their actions. Racism isn't something ANYONE should "play" with. I will say though Black Lives Do Matter, just not in the way people use it.

Kaylee R  on  10/4/2016 5:44:51 PM commented:

I think that these negative racial messages are repulsive, and should definantly be put to a stop. The people who are responsible for taking the photo and putting out the message should be punished reasonably, and be taught a lesson that discrimination against races is not acceptable in society, due to the fact that this can lead to violence upon another, or even upon themselves in the victims case. A rule needs to be created to stop racial slur and discrimination within the school. People need to understand that racial discrimination is a very serious thing, and there are consequences to promoting it. This goes both ways for white and black people, because not only do black lives matter, but so do white lives. The fact that there is a campaign going on to bring attention to the matter of black lives is just sad, because the color of skin shouldn't even be a factor of how we treat everyday people. Hopefully there will be a punishment for these snap chat posts, and that it will help teach and educate people on how to treat everyone equally, no matter what skin color they have. As for punishment wise, I think there should maybe be service hours involved, or maybe some sort of fine, considering that this can lead to severe consequences, and is also a form of bullying.

Chelsie G.  on  10/4/2016 6:50:52 AM commented:

Honestly, instead of a punishment that could hurt there future I would design a class. A mandatory class. The students would go to interracial team building exercises to help them get to know each other for an hour everyday. This would last two weeks, after the duration of the two weeks it will open to anyone who would like to attend. Now, it is to my knowledge that this happened between an African American and a Caucasian, but I think it should have every race, ethnicity, and religion. You should learn about the cultures, the people, what they went through. I'm sure for some it took a lot to be able to go to college maybe if they are comfortable they could share their stories with the group. They should also incorporate team exercise between different racial groups. Like a project over a country or something that will make then talk and get to know one another.

Tristen A.  on  10/3/2016 2:52:08 PM commented:

The students who committed the acts of being discrimate towards another race should be expelled from the unviserity. Yes, it is a harsh punishments; but, to belittle another person because of the color of her skin is taunting aswell as harassment. Black lives do matter but, you should not label one group for only those lives mattering; it should rather be a solid effort for all lives mattering to avoid segregation within the community and the United States as a whole. The epidemic is continuing to occur because " Black Lives Matter " is the first thing anyone thinks of when something goes wrong, instead of looking at what had actually happened case to case.

Kareesha P.  on  10/3/2016 11:57:49 AM commented:

I believe the students should be expelled. I'm sure they are aware of how this could rub people the wrong way. Dressing up in black face and calling her out of her name. No matter what she has done. Her race should not have been used against her. This act was very racist.

Lei-Lani C  on  10/1/2016 3:18:21 AM commented:

The students who committed those hateful acts should be expelled in my opinion. The three men put masks on to pose as Afircan- Americans to simply mock them. The African- American community are saying "Black Lives Matter" in effort to stop behavior like this from happening. They put on masks to belittle a race and can take it off with no repercussions. Blacks aren't able to stop having melanin skin. Everyday Blacks are mistreated by people who think that can get away with actions like the ones committed at UND. People need to see that this can't be tolerated and expelling them is one way we can show our Black Community that we support them for a change.

Celeste M  on  9/30/2016 5:24:00 PM commented:

I think these people deserve to be expelled but that may be a bit of a stretch since they hadn't physically harmed the girl. But they did harass her due to her race and have posted racially-harmful things on her story. They shouldn't be let go with just a simple slap on the wrist. I think they should recieve a punishment that takes away certain privileges from the girls. I hope the school takes action on the issue soon because if they let this pass, it will only continue.

ZCasavant  on  9/30/2016 4:29:08 AM commented:

People keep saying they should be expelled, but this doesn't warrant that. That's ridiculous. They didn't physically harm anyone or permanently damage anything. They need to be reprimanded harshly though, don't get me wrong; this is most definitely unacceptable behavior. I am curious to see what the university decides to do here.

Mursal S  on  9/29/2016 2:08:53 PM commented:

Expel her. That is all.

Alaina D.  on  9/29/2016 7:45:51 AM commented:

To be honest, I think these students should be expelled from the campus. No university should tolerate this type of behavior and with all the violence that is going on in our black communities no black student should be addressed with this type of treatment. Obviously these white students did not care about the consequences that they would face or the outcome of their actions so it would only make sense for them to be expelled. They probably figured that their white privilege would have gotten them into a new university if they got kicked out of UND, but no school should want these type of students who are not mindful of the reality that we live in.

Erica Blanton  on  9/28/2016 4:17:30 PM commented:

They need to be expelled for good! Go somewhere else DUMMIES!!!

Jeremiah B  on  9/28/2016 3:45:39 PM commented:

There is no evidence provided that indicates any crimes were committed. Although the post were distasteful in nature, the alleged perpetrators have the right to practice there 2nd amendment rights.

Chris Anderson  on  9/28/2016 3:21:08 PM commented:

At my school 4 black guys behind me kept saying "ching chong chay" in a racist way towards me. I have no sympathy towards them

Jakai T  on  9/28/2016 3:15:11 PM commented:

BLM wasn't even made to combat racist rats like these, but when incidents like this happen in the media, the movement becomes something racially charged to end this madness. I can't disagree with the movement & the FEW violence it causes when there's still kids so influenced by anti-poc adults everywhere.

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