Georgetown College president addresses racial allegations on campus

Georgetown College  President William H. Crouch Jr. talked to the faculty, staff and student body Monday. About 800 people were at the  assembly.
Georgetown College President William H. Crouch Jr. talked to the faculty, staff and student body Monday. About 800 people were at the assembly.

GEORGETOWN — Georgetown College officials called a campus-wide assembly Monday afternoon to address tension related to allegations that racial slurs were directed toward a black student.

Tevin Lloyd, a freshman from Texas, has alleged that students associated with Kappa Alpha Order fraternity yelled racial slurs at him as he and other members of the President's House Association held the annual Boxer Run on campus.

There also have been complaints that a Confederate flag was displayed in the common area of the dormitory that Kappa Alpha members share with other students and that photos were posted on the fraternity's Web site depicting members wearing Confederate uniforms, said Jim Allison, associate vice president for college relations.

Racially charged graffiti was found on the walls in the men's restroom in another building, he said.

President William Crouch said during Monday's assembly of about 800 that the college has increased security and set up a hot line for students to report disrespectful behavior and that it will add a clause to its student handbook outlining penalties for students who make racial slurs. Crouch said he is setting up a task force to "examine our current campus culture and climate."

Crouch said Georgetown began working in the early 1990s to increase diversity among its student body because college officials "believed that we had a spiritual mandate to teach our students to love all people and to get along with people that didn't look like them."

Minorities and international students make up 11.4 percent of the school's 1,200 students, up from 3 percent five years ago.

Crouch told the assembly that the college is continuing its investigation but that facts have been hard to come by. He urged any students with information to come forward.

A spokesman for the Kappa Alpha Order said Saturday that the fraternity's national organization had suspended its Georgetown College chapter pending investigations into the alleged slurs.

Crouch also said that the college has placed the fraternity on probation and that each member will be required to attend "diversity sensitivity training."

Kappa Alpha spokesman Jesse Lyons has said national officials have found no proof that KA members were involved in the alleged conduct.

Lyons said in a statement released Monday that the Kappa Alpha members "take seriously the gravity of the recent events on campus" and that the fraternity's values "of gentlemanly conduct run absolutely contrary to any form of insensitivity, including racial slurs."

"Kappa Alpha Order will not tolerate, nor condone, any form of behavior from its members, which is demeaning, abusive or harassing to any person of any race, orientation or nationality," the statement said.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader