UMass president vows to help investigate racist messages

  • University of Massachusetts President Martin Meehan speaks during commencement May 20, 2020, at McGuirk Stadium. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

For the Gazette
Published: 9/27/2021 9:07:35 PM

AMHERST — The president of the University of Massachusetts labeled incidents of anti-Black hatred at UMass Amherst as “appalling and disgusting” in a statement on Monday. President Marty Meehan  said his office is working alongside UMass Amherst in an investigation to hold accountable those who were responsible for last week’s racist emails delivered to Black student organizations on campus. 

The emails, in addition to a recent incident where Black students were called a racist epithet by a passing driver, have already been under investigation by campus police and information technology staff. Additionally, anti-Black hate messages have been spread through the “Contact Us” pages of registered student organizations. Nefertiti Walker, vice chancellor and chief diversity officer at UMass Amherst, said this uptick in racist incidents runs “in stark contrast to who we strive to be.” 

Meehan applauded UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy’s quickness to call attention to the incident. Saying the university will “re-double our commitment to providing a safe, welcoming community for all students,” Meehan said UMass “must treat any such attack on one group as an attack on all that we stand for as a community.”


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