Georgetown College President Crouch Addresses Campus Racial Tensions

GEORGETOWN, KY – On Monday, after asking Georgetown City Police to provide additional security over the weekend, Georgetown College President William Crouch, Jr. addressed the entire college community about the racial incidents across campus.

Crouch said that the college accepts that they are responsible “for not being fully prepared to deal” with the rash of hateful speech and actions against Black students during the past days.  In an email on Friday, Crouch detailed the events as “a reported racial slur directed at one of our outstanding African American students, identification of racially insensitive symbols in isolated places on campus, hateful graffiti and hostile remarks made in a classroom setting.”

Though the originator of the racial slur has not been identified, campus officials did confirm that the remark was made toward a Black male student, Tevin Lloyd.  Lloyd was reportedly called “Nigger” by someone who was in front of the Kappa Alpha fraternity house on campus and no one present has come forward to identifiy who said it.  Because of the ongoing investigation, the Kappa Alpha chapter has been suspended from conducting activities on campus.

Tevin Lloyd is a student originally from New Orleans and was displaced after Hurricane Katrina to Texas with his family.  His parents were on campus and met with Dr. Crouch Saturday and held a press conference saying that the administration has not done enough.

Speaking to the student body Dr. Crouch implored them to reveal the culprits. He asked them to free themselves of the burden of carrying around the information and to not feel guilty about telling the truth. “We are not after people,” he said. “This is a place of grace and justice.”

From the Georgetown College website:  “Kappa Alpha Order is an Order of gentlemen who hold strong to the values of the Old South, while striving to live up to the examples set forth by their Spiritual Founder, Robert E. Lee.” Chapters across the US, including the one at Georgetown College, have sponsored “Old South Day” where members dress as Confederate soldiers and women dress in hoop skirts and parade across campuses. In 201o the practice of wearing the uniforms was finally banned by the national headquarters.  Members at Georgetown were known to have Confederate flags in their dorm windows and in the fraternity house.

Wanda Brown is a parent of a freshman and came to campus from Alabama.  Though her daughter was calm about the situation, as a parent she was not and made the trip to Georgetown. After hearing President Crouch today she said, “They could have handled this a little better.  I was told that one student was suspended and I want to know about the others.”  Ms. Brown is letting her daughter decide whether or not to remain a student at the college.

The one student that has been suspended is a Black student. Campus officials explained that the student went into the Kappa Alpha house demanding that they take down a Confederate Flag. He had a weapon that was later found to be a toy gun. “It was unsettling to the students and he was suspended,” said Jim Allison, Associate Vice President of University Relations.  Allison said that the student who made a remark in a classroom has been identified but that case is still being investigated.

In his remarks, Crouch said that a change has been made to the Student Handbook making clear that any form of harassment would be a violation of the school policy. In the future, based on degree of the offense, students will be sanctioned in with one of three wayss: 50 hours of community service where sensitivity can be practiced or suspension or expulsion.

Crouch also said that he does not believe that members of Kappa Alpha are the only ones antagonizing others.  To that end, the President is organizing a task force to study the overall climate of the campus. He expects their report 45 days after the announcement of appointments.

Consolidated Baptist Church Pastor Richard Gaines was present as a College Trustee and as Pastor of several students. He defended the slow movement of the administration. “They are still working to make sure that the facts are not ambiguous. I’d rather them move slowly to get it right. If we wait patiently, we’ll get all the facts,” said Gaines.