WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The NAACP is stepping in to investigate an incident at WSU earlier this month that included alleged hate speech. Some students are saying there is a divide on campus when it comes to issues surrounding race and the latest incident outside of the SGA banquet, may have only furthered the divide.
Former SGA President, Joseph Shepard, filed a police report stating that the current SGA President’s parents charged at him and made racial slurs after his farewell speech. This latest incident has prompted the local NAACP chapter to step in and ask questions about what’s happening on campus.
“I think it’s very demoralizing; it’s depressing,” said the President of the Missionary Baptist Church Dr. T. LaMont Holder. “I think it really sets us back from a lot of the conversations and advancements that we have made.”
Dr. Holder tells us he received many calls from parents of WSU students that were present at the event, where alleged racial slurs were made. After learning about the incident, parents contacted Holder, concerned about their students on campus.
“If you have these types of inflammatory remarks being made, whether it’s on the campus of a university or out in public somewhere else, it certainly is damaging to the fabric of our society,” explained Dr. Holder.
Holder has teamed up with the NAACP and other local groups in support of getting to the bottom of what happened the night of the banquet. NAACP’s President Larry Burks says this is the first WSU case that the organization has taken on.
“Right now, we just need the community to allow this process to happen so that fairness and equality can take place on both sides of the equation on this issue,” said Burks.
The WSU Police Department released a statement saying:
“The University Police Department has completed witness interviews. UPD will present case facts to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office. The DA’s office will make a determination whether to pursue prosecution or decline.”
Last week, KSN spoke with the current SGA President Paige Hungate, who spoke our for the first time about the allegations made against her parents.
“I think that justice will be served and the truth will come out eventually, through the investigative process of the university and then also the police department as well,” said Hungate. “So, addressing that incident in particular, no but I do think that a lot of systemic problems did come up after that alleged incident occurred.”
The NAACP and the WSU Police Department do ask that the community respect the process of the investigation. KSN News will keep you updated on any new developments.