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Former CSU student reported for image evoking blackface

A white man claiming to be a Colorado State University student was reported to the President’s Office Monday night for posting a Snapchat in which he is wearing a black face mask with a caption referencing use of a racial slur.

In a statement sent to The Collegian, the University said the person in the photo is not a current student at CSU. Public Safety and Risk Communications Manager Dell Rae Ciaravola confirmed the person in the photo was previously a student at CSU.

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The reporting student, Taran Jordan Whincop, a junior studying music education and a member of the Black/African American Cultural Center, wrote in a statement to The Collegian that he was sent the image by a friend who saw it on Snapchat. Whincop wrote he then reached out to the President’s Office and filled out a bias report.

Simply because you’re not on our campus does not mean that such hateful displays can’t wickedly inspire others to act the same way towards diverse groups.” Taran Jordan Whincop, member of BAACC Office

I decided to take that course of action because not only am I African American, but I always stand up for what is right and define hate whenever possible,” Whincop wrote. “We live in a time where that is more important than ever, and every little thing counts.”

The statement called the image “a clear invocation of blackface and a terrible echo of the social media incident our community experienced this past fall.”

The statement also said the University had reached out Whincop, saying President Joyce McConnell thanked and checked in with him. Whincop confirmed he communicated with McConnell.

“I appreciate their outreach,” Whincop wrote. “The conversation President McConnell and I had this afternoon was very productive. I can’t wait to see what the near future holds.”

Whincop wrote the fact that the student no longer attends CSU doesn’t change the University’s responsibility to make students of diverse backgrounds feel safe at CSU, even if that’s in the digital community.

“Simply because you’re not on our campus does not mean that such hateful displays can’t wickedly inspire others to act the same way towards diverse groups,” Whincop wrote. “The community is large and small all at once, so we must reinforce positive and welcoming behaviors at all turns.”

The University statement said the Bias Assessment Team is responding to assist students impacted by the image and listed the following additional resources:

 CSU Health Network counseling services:

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  • (970) 491-6053 (during business hours)
  • (970) 491-7111 for 24/7 and after-hours assistance
  • Additional Student Support Resources List
  • Employee Assistance Program – eap.colostate.edu

Ravyn Cullor can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @RCullor99.

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