Fairfield University officials said Tuesday that based on their investigation thus far, they don’t believe that any of the students who attended a racially themed party this past weekend were “wearing brown makeup or were in blackface.”
University officials launched an investigation Monday into an off-campus party that was reportedly advertised as a “ghetto” themed event, but which other students complained was racial in nature.
“We have received no confirmation that any students were wearing brown makeup or were in black face at this party. We have seen no photographic evidence and students who have been interviewed have also given no indication that that occurred,” Teddy DeRosa, associate director of Public Relations & Community Relations, said in a statement.
University officials have thus far been unable to determine whether other photographs circulated on the Internet and shared with university officials and news media were taken at the party. The university is still investigating.
Meanwhile, there will be a student-led forum Wednesday on campus to talk about the incident.
“It is meant to be an open dialogue forum for students to not only talk about the party, but to also talk about why it happened, what are the issues surrounding it, etc. The forum is only open to the campus community,” DeRosa said.
Anif McDonald, president of the Fairfield University Student Association, said the event that occurred over the weekend “perpetuated stereotypes surrounding diversity, and was also very upsetting for those students who are from diverse cultures.”
He said the incident “does not reflect the Jesuit mission of Fairfield University or the deep cultural values that the university stands for.”
McDonald added: “I have encouraged my peers to engage in dialogue with friends around this issue regardless of how uncomfortable it may be. I am proud to be a student at Fairfield University, and I am encouraged that students, along with faculty, staff and administration can work together to make this campus the best that it can be.”
Fairfield is a private, Jesuit and Catholic university with an enrollment of about 3,500 undergraduate and 1,200 graduate students.
According to CollegeData.com, tuition and expenses at Fairfield University total $61,275 annually.