A controversial drawing, which appears to be a depiction of an African-American being lynched, was discovered at approximately 9:50 p.m. by WCRD News staff in the hallway of The Ball Communication Building on the Ball State campus.
The drawing was created on an interactive touch board adjacent to Ball State’s Digital Corps labs.
Ball State officials respond to WCRD News report
In a statement sent Friday morning to WCRD News, Tony Proudfoot, associate vice president of marketing and communications, said, “This is an offensive image and this behavior is unacceptable in our campus community. Ball State embraces inclusion and diversity. We want to maintain–and even enhance–a culture where everyone is welcome and perspectives from all backgrounds are respected and valued.”
Proudfoot said Ball State has made “great strides” to increase the diversity of its student body. In 2006, 8.6 percent of the freshman class was comprised of those from underrepresented minority populations. In the 2013-14 year, that number grew to 15.9 percent.
The drawing was created and displayed on a university-owned touch board.
“This doesn’t represent us in any way as an institution. This appears to be a senseless act by an individual. Respect for everyone and all perspectives is the bedrock of a learning community and we will do all we can to ensure a welcoming culture,” Proudfoot said.
University Organizations Respond
Ball State’s Student Government Association also released a statement saying, “SGA was saddened to learn of the disgusting sign of racism, disregard and disrespect showed towards African Americans on our campus … Fortunately, the depicted image does not reflect the views of the greater Ball State University community. Ball State University aims to create a diverse and inclusive environment for all students as evidence by our almost 100 percent increase in enrollment of underrepresented minorities since 2008.”
The drawing is a “smack in the face” to African-American students on campus, said Dairick Wade, Black Student Association president.
“These words do not come close to expressing the anger and hurt that our community feels from this drawing, and we hope that the person who drew this display realizes the grave mistake they have made,” Wade said.
SGA is encouraging the student body to participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Unity March at 4 p.m. Monday.
The march begins at the Ball State Multicultural Center. Students will march through campus to Shafer Tower and return to the Multicultural Center.
The Multicultural Center told WCRD News the march was pre-planned for MLK Day but, the organization “wanted to integrate to give people the opportunity to voice their frustrations or say this isn’t acceptable on their campus.”