When a photo appeared on social media Wednesday night, ostensibly showing a “colored” sign next to a UNC Charlotte water fountain, university staff dashed off to find it.
Thursday afternoon they said they never found the sign, but they believe the fountain that was photographed is at Holshouser Hall, a student high-rise on south campus. Staff planned to meet Thursday evening with residents to “assess the situation and discuss moving forward as a community,” a university statement said.
“They will keep on it until something is resolved,” said UNCC spokeswoman Buffie Stephens.
UNCC sophomore Salma Villareal said the photo popped up on Snapchat, an image-sharing app, devoid of identifying information other than saying it was at the university. The photo shows a paper sign saying “COLORED” taped next to a drinking fountain.
“We’re definitely aware that it’s a prank,” Villareal said, but she said it adds to an atmosphere that’s not always friendly to minority students. She cited preachers on campus who harangue passersby saying LGBT students are going to hell.
“I want to see people be reprimanded. I want to see steps taken to protect people of color,” said Villareal, who is Latina.
Stephens said university staff checked security camera footage, but as of Thursday evening hadn’t identified anyone responsible.
Anyone with information can contact university police through the LiveSafe app or by calling 704-687-8300.