“Hurtful” photos show students dressed as Mexican stereotypes

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — The University of Lynchburg is investigating a racist incident that happened last Friday. Photos show students dressed up for a party as Mexican stereotypes.

Many on campus are calling it hurtful and cultural appropriation.

“I was flicking through Snapchat, and I had seen that this party was being held on campus,” said Darian Geddis, a senior who then posted the photos on Twitter to make others aware.

The photos show students with fake gang tattoos, fake mustaches, and sombreros.

Geddis says racism is common at his school

“On our doors we have seen comments saying that the n-word, referring to persons of color, are not wanted here, their favorite Halloween candy is ‘candy coons.'”

Geddis says one of the students in the photos messaged him apologizing, and he accepted., but he said he’s not the one who needs the apology.

“The apology needs to go to the people who are affected most by this incident on campus.”

Laura Arriaza is the president of Alpha Psi Lambda, a co-ed Latinx fraternity on campus.

“It’s pretty hurtful,” she said. “It’s not a big of a deal to them because they’re not Hispanic, and the fact that they talk badly or talk down on cultures and then go around and dress up as them to have an excuse it drink, I don’t see the point.”

She says those images enforce negative and untrue stereotypes about Hispanic people.

“What I grew up seeing is people from all over the world coming in, and they all start families here, and they’re all working, and they’re all going to church every Sunday or trying to help their community.”

The administration says the party was in an on-campus house, and they’re investigating.

“It certainly is a concern, because those aren’t the values of the University of Lynchburg,” said Aaron Smith, the Dean of Students at the University of Lynchburg. “We strive to have a welcoming and respectful campus of inclusion where everybody feels safe and welcome.”

Meanwhile, Darian is calling for diversity and inclusion training for all students, which Laura says is available on campus.

“They only reach the people that actually care about diversity and inclusion,” she said.

Students are organizing a demonstration on Wednesday.

WFXR reached out to the accounts in the Snapchat posts for comments from those students, but we have not received a response.

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