« On numbers | Main | 15-year-old St. Paul girl safe after alleged abduction, Amber Alert »

Controversy over Hamline students blackface costumes

Six Hamline University students were suspended from their football team after the put on blackface and body paint to dress up as African tribesman for an off-campus Halloween party.
The players were suspended last week in an incident that has created a discussion about racial sensitivity at the St. Paul liberal arts college. A campus forum held Friday to discuss the issue had 100 people in attendance, according to the Star Tribune.
The university is investigating the incident to figure out whether the students violated policy, Hamline spokesman JacQui Getty said Sunday. Along with the players, two cheerleaders who assisted them with their costumes and supposedly posted photos of them on Facebook with a caption about “spooks� are also under investigation.
Getty said the situation was brought to the university’s attention by students upset by the posted photos. Some students had also posted them around campus.
The six players will not be allowed to participate in the rest of the football season but have not been suspended from school.
If the university’s investigation finds that a university policy was violated, Getty said, the students would go in front of a judicial board, where they could get a warning or even a suspension from school. She expects the investigation to be completed within the next couple weeks.
The Star Tribune notes that this recent incident comes at a time of heightened racial sensitivity in the Twin Cities. Last week, racist notes were placed under the doors of black students at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, prompting an investigation.
Star Tribune:
http://www.startribune.com/106/story/1528428.html