Only a day after Confederate flag signs were posted at American University, officials of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte were grappling with a racially charged incident of their own.
A male UNC Charlotte student admitted to posting a sign above a water fountain Wednesday that said “colored.” He did so inside his dormitory, Holshouser Hall, a high-rise on the university’s south campus, spokeswoman Buffie Stephens confirmed to NBC News.
“[There] was no intention to hurt anyone or insinuate that UNC Charlotte represented or approved of racist beliefs, nor do I believe in them,” the sign-poster said in a written message, according to a statement from the university. “I do not support or encourage any racist agendas … I am deeply sorry for all that came out of this.”
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The student also indicated to university officials that his actions were a poor attempt at humor, said UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip Dubois in an email statement Friday.
“There is nothing humorous about what he did,” he said. “Let me be very clear that intolerance and bigotry have no place within the inclusive culture we strive to achieve at UNC Charlotte.”
The photo circulated quickly around campus after being posted on Snapchat by a non-university-affiliated account that accepts student submissions, sophomore Salma Villarreal told NBC News.
It was first posted to Snapchat by the student who created the sign, Dubois said.
University officials will meet with the student who posted the sign “to review the incident under the Student Code of Responsibility and discuss how his actions have affected members of our community,” Dubois said.
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Although the sign did not make her feel unsafe, Villarreal said seeing the sign posted on Snapchat made her feel unwelcome at the predominantly white institution.
“You already come into it feeling different because you are. You’re not like them,” she told NBC News. “You have instances like this and it really does affect you because you’re already in a place where nobody looks like you, or you’re the first person in your family to go here.”
In his statement, Dubois said he regrets that any member of the university community felt dismayed by a peer’s actions.
Villarreal said that for the sign-maker "to feel safe enough to even post that speaks volumes about the university itself. I want the university to show that this incident is unacceptable.”