Following the outcry surrounding a Snapchat post of an alleged Kansas State University student and sorority member using a racial slur while seemingly wearing "blackface," the school has issued a formal statement of clarification. In addition to asserting that the alleged KSU student was "not currently enrolled" at the university, the school's Associate Provost for Diversity also clarified that the other person seen in the photo is not believed to be associated with the university at all.
"This racially offensive photo with a derogatory message has upset the K-State family and is not in concert with our principles of community," Dr. Zelia Wiley said Thursday afternoon. "Such messages on social media are harmful to all." In the hours since the post first started going viral on Twitter, Wiley said the school's Office of Student Life and Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) have pledged to work to "reinforce" its stance on diversity.
"As members of the K-State family, we should always visualize and work toward a safe, welcoming environment for our community," Wiley said. "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." Read Wiley's full statement here.
After the offending Snapchat post was shared on Twitter by KSU student Desmund Weathers, the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority issued a statement noting that Paige Shoemaker had been "expelled" from their organization in spring of 2015. "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," a spokesperson for Zeta Tau Alpha told Complex. "Her words and actions certainly do not reflect the values and principles of Zeta Tau Alpha."