The cheerleading squad at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York was suspended after a Snapchat video was posted to Twitter shows some members screaming along with a rap song repeatedly using the n-word.
College president Gerard Rooney wrote that after learning about the video “showing some members of the College’s cheerleading team using discriminatory language,” the squad’s “activities have been suspended indefinitely.”
In the video reported to have been posted to Snapchat, in a group of around 10, some loudly recite a few lines from rapper Meek Mills’ “Dreams and Nightmares” track. They repeat the n-word several times.
“As a campus community, we will not support acts or behaviors that are not consistent with the values espoused in our mission statement and in the Fisher Creed,” Rooney wrote.
The squad’s roster and team picture appear on the college website.
A month ago, Rooney was penning a similar letter to students saying racist behaviors goes against “what we strive for.”
Students John Boedicker and Charles Milks were charged with criminal mischief after destroying a statue of Frederick Douglass while shouting racist epithets in Rochester in mid-December. It was reported that Boedicker said what they did wasn’t racist, it was an “intoxicated mistake.”
Rooney suspended both students saying in part, “The suspension will continue until the legally mandated student conduct hearing addressing this matter is completed. We have taken the strongest possible action available to us at this time. In addition to continuing to follow the College’s own Student Conduct Process, the administration will cooperate fully with members of the law enforcement community.”
“First, two students vandalize a #FrederickDouglass statue. Now, this. St. John Fisher College may be a decent school, but its students’ idiocy about #racism and racial injustice need serious attention.”
A St. John Fisher College alum wrote an open letter to Rooney after the statute incident:
“Like so many members of the greater Rochester community, I was appalled and saddened when I heard about the two St. John Fisher students who vandalized the Frederick Douglass statue.
Speaking as a Fisher alumnus, I am most concerned about what direction the College takes moving forward. It is my belief that private institutions of higher learning have a responsibility to at least try to undo unchecked white privilege. For a college to not try to at least address the inherent white privilege and racism that is a systemic disease of every incoming white student, is to fail to attempt to develop the whole student, not just their knowledge bank and ability to be employed.”