University addresses offensive tweet

Stephanie Sansoucy

Representatives of Appalachian State University have responded to an offensive tweet that was directed at North Carolina A&T fans during a home football game Sept. 7.

Chancellor Kenneth Peacock and SGA President Dylan Russell co-wrote a letter addressed to N.C. A&T Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr., and N.C. A&T SGA President Canisha Turner.

“With heavy hearts and the greatest respect for both of you and your colleagues, we write to inform you of the behavior of one of our students who invoked a racial slur in reference to North Carolina A&T students during [the Sept. 7] game,” according to the letter. “This behavior is unacceptable, and we do not want it to damage the valued relationship between our two institutions, nor the friendships we share with members of the North Carolina A&T community.”

Peacock and Russell went on to say in the letter that the Appalachian community strives to “create and uphold a culture” that understands the power of words and the effects they can have – both good and bad.

“We understand and are sorry for the hurt the remarks of one has caused for so many, and we know we have work to do on our campus.”

Dean of Students J.J. Brown addressed the matter Sept. 11 in a blog post on

“The sentiment expressed by this student is not reflective of Appalachian State University and what it means to be a Mountaineer,” Brown wrote. “It is not reflective of the spirit of our founders, the Dougherty Brothers, and their mission to make a difference in Western North Carolina. It is not reflective of the spirit of so many who work each day on the campuses of Appalachian and North Carolina A&T to educate, serve and prepare students for today’s world. It is not reflective of who we are and should be as people.”

A freshman at Appalachian, who was the author of the tweet, sent a letter to N.C. A&T’s student newspaper, The A&T Register, to apologize for the incident. The Appalachian was able to obtain a copy of the letter.

“I’m disappointed in myself that I would bring such negative media toward Appalachian as well as myself,” she wrote in the letter. “This doesn’t reflect on the people of the Appalachian community of the past, present and future.”

Her Twitter account has since been deleted. The original tweet involved the N-word in reference to students from N.C. A&T and she claims in the letter she still doesn’t understand why she sent the tweet.

“I want you all to know that I am truly sorry for my actions and I wish I could take it back but I never can.  All I can offer to you is my deepest apology and my promise that I will always think about the words I use and the meaning of them.”

Story: MICHAEL BRAGG, Editor-in-Chief