The following is a statement provided by Dr. Andy Lewter, UT Martin vice chancellor for Student Affairs.
I want to provide an update on our investigation into the racially-charged video that was distributed broadly across social media last week. The video is appalling. It illustrates that we have miles to go to become a campus that is welcoming to everyone.
Please allow me to explain where we are in addressing this situation.
Let me assure you the Division of Student Affairs is taking this matter very seriously. All students are afforded due process. The conduct review will protect the privacy records of the students involved, as authorized by the State of Tennessee and the federal government, as well as provide opportunities to counsel, educate, and seek actions that will help heal the community. While there is great interest in the outcome, I will not be able to disclose this information to the public.
Freedom of speech protects all of us as we express our opinions, both those socially acceptable and those that are not. Having said that, I also acknowledge that there are consequences for every action taken. The words stated in the video struck to the heart of all of us on campus, especially those of our Black students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends.
Moving forward, UTM is committed to providing a safe campus and opportunities to expand the conversation on racial justice.
Please join me in creating a campus culture that is respectful and welcoming to all.
In service to students,
Dr. Andy Lewter
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
University of Tennessee at Martin