University of North Dakota officials announced Thursday that they’re investigating a second incident involving racist Snapchat photos.
The latest occurrence involves four people posing in blackface with the caption “Black lives matter.” This followed a Snapchat post of three different students who allegedly locked a black student out of a dorm and took a picture on her phone with the caption, “locked the black bitch out.”
“I am appalled that within 48 hours two photos with racially-charged messages have been posted on social media and associated with the UND campus community,” UND President Mark Kennedy said in a statement.
UND spokesman Peter Johnson confirmed to the Star Tribune that the three people involved in the first Snapchat incident are students currently enrolled at the school. It has not yet been verified if the four people in blackface are also UND students.
“It is abundantly clear that we have much work to do at the University of North Dakota in educating our students, and the entire University community on issues related to diversity, inclusion, and respect for others,” Kennedy said Thursday.
According to enrollment data, only 2.5 percent of UND's 2015-16 student body is African American, while 79 percent is Caucasian. Kennedy said the school is in the process of “exploring best practices for diversity education amongst premier institutions” and bringing it to reality at UND.
“I have heard from many within our campus community, as well as alums and individuals not directly connected to the University, who are encouraging us to use this situation as an opportunity to address what some see as long standing issues within our community and across the country,” the president stated.
The UND Police Department and the Office of Students Rights and Responsibilities are conducting the Snapchat investigations. Kennedy said the university is moving as fast as it can with the investigations.