200620_atch_school_bcresponse

President Stephen D. Minnis of Benedictine College offers a written response to an offense meme posted through social media.

President Stephen D. Minnis, of Benedictine College, issued a statement on behalf BC in wake of a controversial and imprecise reference posted on an Instagram account.

“Benedictine College was deeply disturbed to see that a member of the student Chapter of TPUSA posted an historically inaccurate and offensive graphic on their Instagram account,” Minnis stated in an online Benedictine College Facebook post.

Minnis referred to the meme’s assertion that the first slave-owner in America was black is factually wrong. The graphic and student’s post has since been removed from BC’s social media. Minnis indicated the Dean of Students is currently evaluating an appropriate response to the club in relation to the rules regarding the governance of student organizations.

Dr. Joseph Wurtz, BC Dean of Students, is reviewing the club’s status and has been in communication with the club president, said Steve Johnson, BC media relations. Dr. Wurtz is setting up a meeting in the fall with the TPUSA president and club members at BC and the president of the Black Student Union, Johnson said. In addition, the TPUSA club officers will meet during the fall with BC’s Graduate Assistant working for the Dean of Students.

“The hope in both of these meetings is that people will listen and respectfully discuss the post and its consequences,” Johnson said.

The TPUSA website indicates the club is a political conservative group. Johnson said Turning Point USA at Benedictine College was a approved as a club in March of 2019. A link on TPUSA indicates the club at BC has a membership of 30 on the campus. The group’s Facebook page indicates it was created Feb. 12, 2019 and refers to it as a social club along with invitations to follow on Facebook and Instagram.

“St. Benedict reminds us that we should treat everyone we encounter as if they were Jesus Christ himself,” Minnis stated in his response. “Posting images or messages that are hurtful to our fellow students and fellow citizens is antithetical to our community. “

Minnis continued, “now is a particularly sensitive time in our nation’s history, and words and images that carry unsettling implications are even more hurtful than usual.”

Mary Meyers can be reached via mary.meyers@atchisonglobenow.com. Follow her on Twitter:@MARYMEYERSglobe

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