Marist Student’s Racist Post Goes Viral, College Responds
Many people are outraged over a social media post from a Marist College student that uses a racial slur.
As protests were being held across the country in the wake of George Floyd's death, Marist College was investigating the appearance of a student in a social media post that contains racist language.
The Instagram photo shows the student and another person in a car with a caption that reads "Beach day n***". According to Marist's student-run paper, The Circle, President Murray sent an email to students on Sunday saying that the school was "in the process of investigating and addressing this situation as a disciplinary matter."
Murray added that the timing of this post was particularly disturbing.
Coming at a time when so many people across the nation are in distress over the continued deaths of African Americans in police custody, this post not only displayed a callous indifference to recent national events, but made a mockery of our institutional values,
A tweet of the image has since gone viral. One response includes a screenshot that is allegedly from the Marist student's social media account asking for forgiveness. In the apology message, the student claims the photo was from "four years ago." and denied responsibility for writing the caption which appeared on her Instagram story.
On Wednesday, Marist emailed an official response to students and alumni addressing the protests that have been happening across the country. The message, for many students, has come too late. An article in the school paper strongly criticized the school's delay in responding to the movement, noting that Marist's social media outlets were glaringly absent from blackout Tuesday, a day when many other schools, businesses and organizations recognized the issues facing black Americans.
The message from President Murray was shared on the school's website, but as of Thursday morning was still absent from the school's Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages. In fact, there has been no mention of recent events on any of the school's social media channels at all.
An open letter to Marist College written by current and former student ambassadors is asking the school to do more to speak out against racial inequality. The message goes on to describe the disappointment felt by Marist's silence about current issues over the past week.
Dennis Murray indicated in his letter that the school is planning on opening up more of a dialogue with black students.
After consulting with various campus groups, I’ll be sending out another communication in the next month on what we can do to improve the climate at Marist. In these difficult times, we pledge to support Black students, faculty, and staff, both as the country addresses its serious challenges and as the College works to further strengthen its sense of community.
Black students reportedly make up only about 4% of Marist's current student body.