Following the harrowing discovery of “racist” drawings on an erasable whiteboard in a campus study lounge, student leaders assembled an hours-long emergency meeting to demand that the school take racist incidents more seriously.
Turns out, the whole thing was a hoax. But that didn’t stop the outrage.
According to the campus paper, Pipe Dream, the drawings contained “racist depictions of black people, including racial slurs and allusions to slavery.” The pictures in question were shared on Twitter by an outraged student who took photos and complained: “We got race issues. Acknowledge it.” She helpfully included a “content warning” for easily-triggered viewers.
“racist af, slurs used,” she wrote.
What you find at @binghamtonu . Endicott in Newing. Spread the word. We got race issues. Acknowledge it.
CW: racist af, slurs used. pic.twitter.com/P6lo1rkFAJ
— sarah ???? (@woodworks_) October 5, 2017
The images that were drawn on a whiteboard in the school’s Endicott Hall were erased soon after being documented and reported to the police.
Binghamton’s New York State University Police (UPD) investigated the drawings and found it to be nothing more than a hoax. Two unnamed individuals who admitted to police that they made the drawings say that they were done as a “social experiment.”
The Student Association’s VP for multicultural affairs, Josh Gonzalez, said that many students and alumni contacted him about the incident, which led him to organize the town hall to “facilitate a discussion about racial discrimination at the school that the administration has been reluctant to start.”
“It’s important for the University to be very serious about instances of racial discrimination, specifically when they’re anti-black, because the University can often respond to different instances of discrimination,” said Raul Cepin, another VP for the student union.
Attendees reached a consensus that the school administration didn’t take the incident seriously because of the language they used in describing the drawings. The university said that the drawings were “characterized as racist” instead of “racist.”
University officials may not be treating the incident seriously because of the UPD’s own findings on the matter.
Furthermore, as Cepin noted in the town hall meeting, police never disclosed the appearance or race of the artists. He asked if they were “students of color.” Another student suggested that if they are, there needs to be more outreach.
It appears on campus there is zero tolerance for adolescent mischief.