An honors college student who wore blackface self-reported the incident, according to a statement from the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College Dean Douglass Sullivan-González.
Sullivan-González released the statement to honors college students explaining how the organization’s process works.
“The Honors College is aware of an image posted on social media by an honors student wearing blackface and wearing an SMBHC t-shirt,” the statement read. “The student self-reported his post and has acknowledged the racist and hurtful impact of his poor judgment.”
The statement said the student is going through the restorative justice process (RJP), which allows students who have negatively impacted certain groups to engage with those groups and learn from the experience.
Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Community Engagement Katrina Caldwell and Provost Noel Wilkin also released a statement titled “My Culture is Not a Costume” that said the student in the photo was wearing a costume.
The statement said that the student admitted to posting it and expressed remorse after it was submitted to the Bias Incident Report Team last week.
The statement also shared tips to ensure one’s Halloween costume is not culturally insensitive.
“While we are encouraged by the fact that the student self-reported the image, we decided to make this incident and its outcome public to show our commitment to be transparent about BIRT reports that have potential community impact,” Caldwell and Wilkin’s statement read.
At September’s provost forum following the Emmett Till controversy, Caldwell said that BIRT was considering a notification system for when bias incident reports are filed.
Sullivan-González said that the honors college would continue to work with the student if he abided by the RJP process.
“Although we deplore the racist post, we thank the student for coming forward and for his willingness to educate himself and to dialogue with those directly impacted,” the statement from the honors college said.