Administration

OSU president apologizes for student blackface incident

The president of Oklahoma State University issued an apology Monday after a white student posted an image of herself on social media in blackface — the second such incident by students at the campus in a week.

Members of the school's African American Student Association protested outside the university's administration building Monday morning before meeting with OSU President Burns Hargis, where they expressed frustration and concern over the racially insensitive posts, said Terrance Williams, vice president of the student group.

"Our immediate reaction was: 'Not again'," Williams said. The image was posted six days after a group of OSU students took a similar picture in which two students appeared online in blackface on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Williams said.

"We're very disgusted and annoyed by the situation and the lack of care from some of our fellow students," he said.

In a statement, Hargis said OSU values all of its students and "that intolerance or discrimination of any person or group is not acceptable on this campus or in our society."

"On behalf of the OSU family, I apologize for the hurt these incidents have caused," Hargis said. "We are working with the students involved in these incidents to help them understand the consequences of their inappropriate actions."

Williams said members of the student group expressed "our feeling of lack of support" from OSU's administration. He said the group wants the university to launch diversity training for students at OSU's main campus.

"We definitely want change from them," Williams said. "More than an apology needs to be done. It's offensive to us and to the school."