University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto on Thursday condemned "hate-filled" language aimed at UK students who staged a "die-in" this week to protest police brutality in Missouri and New York.
Die-ins were held Tuesday and Wednesday. Wednesday night's protest, at W.T. Young Library, sparked an outburst on Yik Yak, a social media app that allows users to anonymously post comments in a 1.5-mile radius from where they are. The posts later disappear.
The comment came from people who were clearly in the library with the protesters.
"Hate-filled slurs hurled for no reason other than to demean another person have no place here," Capilouto said in a campus-wide email Thursday. "Such language is indicative of narrow mindedness and mean spirit; and what I have read sickens me. It is not who we are or wish to be."
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Capilouto also pointed out that free speech on social media cannot be controlled.
The "die-ins" consisted of protesters lying silently on the floor, some of them with signs with slogans such as "Black Lives Matter."
UK senior Jazmene Landing, who took part in the protests, said the statement doesn't go far enough. She said she thinks there should be policy changes in the student code of conduct that would prohibit hate speech, and she said she wants people who say things on social media to be caught.
"You can't do too much as far as Yik Yak, but we want some kind of punishment," Landing said. "There are certain times there are things you can't say because it creates a hostile environment."
Capilouto said recent events in Missouri and New York should spark debate on college campuses such as UK, and "I am proud of the leadership of our students who have organized silent protests to express their outrage."