The racially charged video that led to the departure of two students from campus earlier this week was first reported and publicized by two freshman, one of whom is the younger sister of the director of multicultural affairs. The two say they wanted to use the video to highlight race issues at the university.
Briarston Ashford, freshman business management major from Abilene, said she saw the video on her Snapchat feed Sunday evening. She sent a private message to the student who originally posted the video asking her to take the video down.
“She didn’t know it would offend anyone,” Ashford said. “She apologized. She said it was just a joke, that they didn’t mean any harm by that. And I said ‘I appreciate it, I just don’t want people to think they can post these things on social media or anywhere.'”
Ashford said the student removed the video from her story, but the video was still visible in the private message between the two. The next day she showed the video to her brother, Prentice Ashford, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs. After talking to him, she decided to report the incident. She filled out an informal complaint form describing the incident to the deputy Title IX coordinator Sherita Nickerson. She said after she filled out the form she was told “they would take care of it.”
Briarston said she showed the video to her friend, Jessica Stacy, Monday morning and Stacy tweeted the video with the username @JNacole503.
“I tweeted the video just because it needed to be out there,” said Stacy, freshman social work major from Dallas. “I can’t go up to everybody on this campus and show them, so it was good for me to tweet it.”
Stacy said she wanted the video to be retweeted and seen by many people. She also talked to Nickerson and emailed Dr. Phil Schubert, president of the university, after she tweeted it.
“I thought that was the best thing for it,” Stacy said. “I feel like this is a different generation. We’re freshman and we’ve grown up in a generation where now things are meant to be public. Nothing that we do now is secret, so for them to try to keep it a secret was like a slap in the face.”