CSU Fullerton investigating fraternity's social media post containing racial slur

Jessica De Nova Image
Thursday, October 24, 2019
CSU Fullerton investigating flyer containing racial slur
Cal State University Fullerton administrators are investigating a fraternity flyer containing a racial slur that was posted on social media.

FULLERTON, Calif. (KABC) -- Cal State University Fullerton administrators are investigating a flyer containing a racial slur more than a week after it hit social media.

The N-word was part of the announcement for a fundraiser by Phi Sigma Kappa (PSK). It was a watermark on the bottom right corner.

CSUF staff said the post hit social media on Oct. 14.

On Wednesday of the following week, the vice president of student affairs, Harry Le Grande, said an investigation was still underway.

Le Grande said the student behind it told staff it was supposed to be a joke.

"He came forward, said it was about two in the morning. He and another person were thinking, 'What's the worst thing we can do to get our fraternity disbanded from campus?' And then they put this flyer with the watermark on it. He thought he had allegedly removed the watermark, but obviously that didn't happen," Le Grande said.

Brandon Saunders was a third-year student here. He heard about the post from his friends.

"It was a little disturbing," Saunders said, adding, "I'm not really that surprised."

According to a post on the fraternity's Instagram account apologizing for the flyer, PSK's, "Exec Board, Philanthropy Chair, and actives were unable to identify this derogatory edit before it was shared from the individual who created it, to be posted publicly."

The post goes on to say, when members found out, they voted to expel the person who created it.

Later that week, PSK added to the Instagram post:

"We have reached out to our national headquarters to request a full membership review in order to evaluate each member to ensure that our fraternity's values are upheld by each individual."

Saunders said things like this happened when there weren't enough black leaders on university campuses.

"It's not enough black representation here for us to feel comfortable, for us to feel like we're accepted. It just feels like, 'Oh we're just adding you here just for the numbers,"' Saunder said, adding, "hire more teachers, hire more professors who are associated with the African-American community and that will better represent us.

A week after the post, the school's Black Student Union held a town hall to address the current campus climate.

Olamide Ola-Isola was at the meeting Monday.

"It's not only like in Cal State, I think like everywhere meetings like this are needed, but at the same time, at the end of it, you just feel like nothing is going to get done because it's going to keep going the same way," Ola-Isola said.

In a letter, university president Fram Virjee informed the Titan community of the post saying, "Hate and racism is not acceptable at Cal State Fullerton. Ever."

A CSUF spokesperson said black students have made up about 2% of the school's population for the last decade.