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Xavier University president 'outraged' over racist messages

Posted: 1:08 PM, Oct 25, 2016
Updated: 2016-10-25 21:13:28Z

CINCINNATI -- Xavier University President Mike Graham is “outraged and deeply troubled” by racist images he says have recently been connected to Xavier students.

One image sent to WCPO shows a young woman in blackface.

In an email sent to students before noon Tuesday, Graham wrote many Xavier students are in pain over the images.

"Many of our students, of all races, are in pain over this," he wrote.

Xavier is looking into this issue,  Kelly Leon, XU’s director of strategic communications, confirmed in an email. The school has a Student Code of Conduct that stipulates expected behavior among students, she said, including respect for others.

"All students accused of a violation of the Student Code of Conduct go through a student conduct process," Leon wrote.

Xavier sophomore Simone Fluker sent the images to WCPO, saying she was told they'd been posted to SnapChat. 

"When I was first shown the picture, I was in class and my (friend) showed me the picture," Fluker said. She said her friend took a screen shot of the image from someone who lives in her dormitory.

"This is the last straw," Fluker said. "It’s time for people to learn and educate themselves -- racism is still around and people are still ignorant to it."

Fluker said the image makes her feel "speechless" and that she "feels bad" for the girl depicted in the photo, because "she has made a mistake that will be with her for the rest of her life."

Chief Student Affairs Officer Dave Johnson tweeted a message condemning bias Tuesday, as well.

WCPO will continue to update this story.