TTU President issues statement about ‘Racist Video Incident’

TTU President issues statement about ‘Racist Video Incident’
(Source: KCBD)

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - After a racially charged video was sent to a young woman by a Texas Tech student on November 21, 2019, the TTU Dean of Students took to Twitter to address the video, and now Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec has issued a statement.

According to reports, a Texas Tech student sent a racial video to a Kennedy Evans through the online chat service Discord. The video from the Twitter account of Kennedy Evans can be seen here (the video does contain racially insensitive and graphic material).

Evans took to Twitter to expose the video and request that something more be done about it.

President Schovanec released the following statement:

January 7, 2020

Dear Texas Tech University Community,

On November 21, a racist video was shared by a member of our campus community. The imagery and message in the video are vile and repugnant and absolutely not representative of the students, faculty, staff, or alumni of Texas Tech University. The conversation that continued across various social platforms is antithetical to the way we should speak to anyone, in particular members of our own community.

The Office of the Dean of Students and the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion began responding to this issue on November 22. We discovered the video was shared on a mobile application that is used by many in the gaming community, including our eSports club, a student organization. We have also learned that this group has been open to students who are not members of the eSports club, as well as individuals who have no affiliation with the University. During the time of our investigative process, the video was shared again on social media, which led to additional dialogue that impacted not only our campus community, but many of our external constituents as well.

Last week, in response to this situation and as part of ongoing efforts, the following steps have been taken:

  • I have ordered a comprehensive review of the policies and management of our sports club programs, and we will make necessary amendments and revisions;
  • We will include diversity, equity, and inclusion and Title IX training as part of sports club and student organization training experiences;
  • We will include diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as interpersonal communication principles, as part of the student experience, including Red Raider Orientation;
  • I have scheduled a meeting with the Black Student Association (BSA) to discuss additional actions we may take to address this situation and any future situations, should they arise;
  • All student behavior inquiries to the Office of the Dean of Students will be directed through the Students of Concern reporting form. Once a concern is reported, professional staff will determine appropriate follow-up action within 24 hours;
  • We will review and revise as appropriate the range of options for disciplinary actions that are allowed by our Code of Student Conduct.

Texas Tech has a deep commitment to fostering a campus environment that values diversity, equity, and inclusion. I acknowledge the anger and hurt that results when incidents that blatantly violate those values occur. These types of incidents are especially frustrating in light of efforts that have been taken to create a respectful and inclusive community. Over the past year, our Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, led by Dr. Carol A. Sumner, has made great strides across campus, as outlined in the Division's 2018-19 Annual Report, and we will continue to provide updates on our actions as we work together as a community. It is our collective responsibility to hold each other accountable. We will not shirk these responsibilities, and we must work together to ensure that we don't.

Sincerely,

Lawrence Schovanec President

Here is the statement from TTU Dean of Students Matthew Gregory, PhD from Dec. 24:

Texas Tech Community,

The Office of the Dean of Students received a report in November concerning a discriminatory video that was posted on a third party platform. We contacted the reporting party as soon as we learned of the report and initiated an investigation. The matter has been addressed but due to federal law, we are unable to speak publicly about processes or outcomes associated with student behavior matters. We thank you very much for your concern. Please know that we find the video and related images to be deplorable and are not condoned by the University.

Sincerely,

D. Matthew Gregory, PhD

Dean of Students

Texas Tech University

“Please know that we find the video and related images to be deplorable and are not condoned by the University." - Texas Tech Statement

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