Three members of a George Washington University sorority are getting the boot after a photo featuring a racist message made its rounds on social media this week.
According to NBC Washington, the image appears to show two Alpha Phi sorority members as one poses with a banana peel with the caption “[Name]: ‘I’m 1/16 Black.” The sorority has since issued an apology on its Facebook page.
“… We recognize that there are issues within our organization relating to our privilege and lack of diversity, [and] we are committed to listening to the voices of those who have been harmed by the actions of those individuals and by our actions as a chapter,” the statement read, confirming that students involved would have their memberships suspended.
“Regardless of the circumstances or true intentions of those involved, the end result was offensive and hurtful,” it continued. “We apologize deeply to the campus community and the rest of the Alpha Phi organization for the post and the hurt that it has caused.”
Campus newspaper The GW Hatchet first reported the photo after students took to social media to demand that school leaders take action. University spokesperson Maralee Csellar said the school was made aware of the offensive post-Thursday morning and that officials were “looking into it.”
This is the eve of Black History Month @GWtweets @GWPeterK care to explain? pic.twitter.com/YDVfxzr2Zw
— Imani Ross (@imanirossL) February 1, 2018
Imani Ross, a senator for the university’s Student Association, tweeted out the photo in question Wednesday evening and noted the start of Black History Month. She told NBC Washington that students in the multicultural community planned to host a meeting on Thursday night to talk about “…further actions regarding issues related to diversity and inclusion.”
“This incident is deeply troubling, especially after Alpha Phi recently attended a diversity training on campus this past month,” Ross said.
There’s no word on whether the student who snapped the photo will face suspension as well.