Students who were at the welcome meeting say the comments mocked the African-American speaker and came from Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority members sitting behind them, the report said.
“I think a lot of them were sad and frustrated,” Brandi Stone with UNM’s African American Student Services, told the television news outlet.”Essentially, it came down to not feeling safe around Black people.”
UNM sorority under investigation for alleged racist remarks made at a campus Greek life event
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The University of New Mexico is investigating racist comments allegedly made by a sorority member during a Greek life welcome event for new me… pic.twitter.com/vilsCVVMQk
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In a statement from the Black Student Alliance, the students said they heard KKG members say: “Black people get away from me,” and “Black people stop wearing grills.”
“That’s wrong, it shouldn’t have happened, period,” said UNM student Keith Flynn.
“It’s very small minded of them to say or even think, and it’s pretty brave of them to say that out loud around other people,” said UNM student Dylan Greenhaus. “That’s a rough one for sure.”
Now, according to krqe.com, faculty and students are calling for cultural sensitivity training all around campus.
“This is probably a good teachable moment for the entire campus,” said Scott Carreathers, Director of UNM’s African American Student Services. “I believe it’s indicative with the climate we’re in nationwide, but definitely here at the university.”
“I think they should open up their minds and not be so narrow-minded,” said Greenhaus.
“At the end of the day on a college campus, there’s so many cultures, ethnicities, religion, political thoughts,” said Stone. “And the idea is to engage with them and to challenge your ideas, so I hope that they will take this as a learning experience.”
UNM’s president, Garnett Stokes, sent KOAT Action News this statement:
“I have recently engaged with members of the Black Student Alliance and African American Student Services, and take to heart their concerns about our campus climate, and opportunities for improvement. Creating and sustaining a welcoming and respectful environment at UNM is a shared responsibility, that must be infused across both academic and social dimensions of campus life.”
KRQE News 13 was told the sorority members apologized but according to the report, the black students rejected the apology because the accused continued to joke after expressing remorse.
Meanwhile, the national KKG chapter responded by saying their sorority appreciates inclusion and diversity and they are investigating the allegations.