Alleged Racist Incident At WSU Under Investigation

May 5, 2017

Wichita State University police were called to campus Thursday night about an incident that took place after the Student Government Association annual banquet. The former president made a final speech as the new president and her family listened in the audience.

Joseph Shepard said that at the end of his speech, he mentioned that he was not happy about the incoming president but would support her. And after the speech, he says that the new president's mother told him that his words had been an attack on her daughter.

"The conversation became more intense," Shepard says. "And our voices did raise a bit, both of ours."

Shepard says that as the woman walked away, she called him the "N" word. He says that then the woman’s husband charged after him.

The new student body president's family has denied that the incident took place, and Lou Heldman, WSU's vice president for strategic communications, says that if it was hate speech, it will not be tolerated.

"It's something, whether it was from a member of the university community or a visitor, we will deal with that in whatever ways that we have the authority to deal with it," he said.

Read the university's statement here.

The incident is under investigation.

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Aileen LeBlanc is news director at KMUW. Follow her on Twitter @Aileen_LeBlanc.

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