UW students blasted for ‘disturbing, racist’ Snapchat...of beauty masks

Two University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (UWW) students were reprimanded last week in a campus-wide message by Chancellor Beverly Kopper for posting a picture to Snapchat wearing dark exfoliating masks that Kopper called a “disturbing, racist post.”

The image, posted to UWW’s Snapchat, shows two students in a dorm wearing dark facial skin care treatments. Kopper said that the students had no negative intentions with posting the photo and had expressed remorse, but “These are serious issues that must be addressed.”

"This post was hurtful and destructive to our campus community. While social media can certainly bring about positive change, it can also be a place that deeply hurts and harms others,” Kopper said in the campus-wide message.

"I think they're taking it too far. They’re just trying to be innocent,” UWW student Nicole Rindy told WTMJ-TV

Following the posting of the photo, Kopper held an event called Pizza with the Chancellor, which drew about 80 students. The event, she promised, was the first of many.

“[The students] shared with me some truly upsetting stories about their experiences on campus, including the use of racial slurs and microaggressions,” Kopper said after the event.

"Feeding us isn't going to solve it. Having more ‘pizza parties’ isn't going to solve it,” Ju'Jaraw Singleton, a Black Student Union (BSU) member told WTMJ-TV.

Whitewater senator Stephen Nass issued a statement on Thursday condemning the officials at UWW for overreacting.

“The students shared a picture on social media showing them with the facial product on their faces and the material just happened to be black in color. The posting contained no racist statement,” Nass said.

This didn’t stop people from taking to Facebook to reprimand the school and the students for racism.

“I swear! I'm not surprised, look at their student body...over 9,000 white students and less than 500 black students....Of course racists and plain stupidity will be all in this student body,” said Alise Patterson.

“I'm so sick of shit like this...they need to drop these clowns on any Martin Luther in the hood so they can receive a universal beating,” Vincent Perez posted.

“WTF is wrong with you kids?” said the mother of a minority student at UWW. “Do I need to worry about his safety & the safety of his diverse circle of friends?”

In an interview with WTMJ-TV, Matthew Wade, a BSU member, suggested that, “[the students] need to have some sort of educational course."

Kopper confirmed to Nass that the students will face no disciplinary actions, but called the picture, “a teachable moment.”

Along with Pizza with the Chancellor, Kopper enlisted the help of Tom Rios, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, to form a group that will meet with students, research the issues, and work on developing an action plan to improve faculty and staff diversity

“The racial over-reaction...without first checking the facts of the situation is a stark example of how political correctness has warped the mindset of highly educated university administrators. Frankly, these are the people responsible for educating our sons and daughters, but they seem incapable of applying reason or common sense,” Nass said.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @brianledtke