Black student leaders at Virginia Tech want university administrators to address campus racism, pointing out that the lacrosse team’s outrageous behavior was no isolated incident.
Virginia Tech’s administration was silent for nearly a week after members of the women’s lacrosse team, who are White, celebrated a big victory on March 24 by singing the Lil Dicky song “Freaky Friday,” which has the n-word multiple times in its lyrics. In the 13-second video, posted on social media, they enthusiastically chanted the slur 11 times.
The university’s NAACP chapter and the Black Organizations Council demanded in a statement released on Friday that Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands immediately condemn the team’s behavior, The Roanoke Times reported. The student leaders also want disciplinary action against the lacrosse players in the video.
“We, as a body that dedicates our effort to the fight for equality of all people, disavow not only the actions of said team but the inactions of faculty, staff and most notably, the administration of this university,” the letter stated.
Virginia Tech has a racist campus culture, the Black student leaders noted. They were not surprised to hear the n-word on the video, Courtney Ortiz, the president of Tech’ NAACP chapter, told the newspaper.
“It’s something that we see on this campus all the time. It’s something that we hear on this campus all the time,” she added. “I think more of our surprise came from the fact that there wasn’t an immediate statement from the school.”
Sands reached out to the Black student leaders on Thursday (five days after the incident), according to his office. The athletic department “reacted quickly and with clarity,” the university’s president said in a statement released on Friday.
Ortiz confirmed to the Times that the athletic department contacted the Black Organizations Council. The Black student leaders are looking forward to having a meeting with the athletic department and the lacrosse team. That’s a step forward. What they also want is to address the broader issue of campus racism with the president.
“There’s a lot of discrimination on this campus and there’s a lot of racism on this campus,” Ortiz stated.