George Washington University released a statement on Thursday after a student allegedly posted a racially insensitive picture to social media.
The picture was posted on the app Snapchat and showed the image of a white female student holding up a peeled banana with the caption "Izzy: 'I'm 1/16 black.'"
The university released the following statement:
"There was an entirely inappropriate posting on social media last night. Whatever the circumstance, or true intention of those involved, the image was disturbing, hurtful and not reflective of who I know we are as a community. As a university, we have emphasized our commitment to inclusion and have made clear that “You are Welcome Here." We do this through our actions and our words. Images like the one posted on social media can make people question whether they are welcome at the university, and that is unacceptable to me.
Unfortunately, we have heard and read about too many instances of racist language and imagery on college campuses. They reflect the need for an ongoing discourse about race. Universities are special places that thrive because of the diverse perspectives and background of those who study, teach, research and work on those campuses.
Since the report, we have been in active dialogue with the national headquarters of Alpha Phi and students on campus who have been affected. We take this very seriously.
I hope we utilize these occasions to engage in dialogue across our community. We must remember that words and symbols have tremendous consequences. And, when they are made without regard to how those who receive them react, we can cause harm and hinder the university’s ability to achieve the preeminence to which we all aspire."
"I actually saw the post the morning it was posted on Snapchat. Honestly I was shocked and appalled. I didn't know that kind of racist behavior would be happening at George Washington University," Sophomore Chanel Watson said.
"Members of the chapter who were involved should be expelled from the chapter and the chapter should be expelled from campus for a portion of time. It is not something we can take lightly on campus," Watson continued. "Small acts like this can snowball into big severe acts where someone could get hurt and that's just not a risk that we should have to take on GW's campus."
The students were in the sorority Alpha Phi
GW's Alpha Phi said they suspended three sisters Friday due to the Snapchat post.
Editor's note: We’ve blurred out the faces of the students pictured and removed the name of the Snapchat sender because we’re unable independently verify the authenticity of the photo as George Washington University is investigating the incident.