Editor’s note: This post originally contained language which did not clearly identify the roles of the students involved in the original inciting incident. The post has been updated to more clearly reflect the facts, which are that a Samford student posted a racially offensive photo to social media, and that the student who is pictured in the photo has denied involvement. The Crimson is happy to clarify the facts for the record.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., On Wednesday, an offensive photo of a student at Samford University spread on social media, causing a backlash across campus.
In the picture posted to Snapchat, a female identified as a Samford student is visible a spray tan with the caption, “we changing races tonight.”
According to an email statement from Phil Kimrey, Samford’s vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, the student in the photo has denied involvement in posting and sharing the photo.
“This has been going on for too long,” alumnus Andrew Harris said. “Samford has been throwing things under the rug. If it was just a joke or not, it’s still offensive because you don’t see any African Americans putting powder on their face and saying ‘changing race tonight.'”
In the press release, Kimrey and Denise Gregory, assistant provost for diversity and intercultural initiatives, apologized for the incident and to anyone who was offended by the actions of the students.
“I think it’s nonsense, whatever excuse they want to come with will be nonsense as well,” senior Samuel Obi said. “Regardless of whether it was meant to be offensive or not, that fact that they found it comical and wanted to put it on social media is beyond me.”
Another student, senior Rick Charles, said he was not surprised by the incident.
“It’s not a surprise that this happened at Samford University. But it’s getting out of hand, whenever something like that like happens, all we get is an apology and that’s it, things go back to normal,” Charles said.
Kimrey says these actions to not represent Samford University and wants to use it as a learning moment.
“I invite all of the Samford community to join us in using this incident as an impetus for promoting mutual respect among all people,” Kimrey said in the statement.
Samford SGA Press Secretary Abbie Brown said the SGA president will make a statement Friday after speaking directly with those directly involved. [Ed. note: That statement is available here.]
The students in question were reached out to for a response, but declined to comment on this story.