RIT condemns offensive photos found in past yearbooks

February 20, 2019 06:31 AM

HENRIETTA, N.Y. (WHEC) -- An offensive photo from a Rochester Institute of Technology publication from the 1970s is expected to be referenced in a national news story.

RIT President David Munson says it has come to their attention that both national and local media outlets will be publishing stories referencing racist yearbook photos from college campuses across the country.


He went on to say that photos from a student-produced RIT yearbook in the 1970s may be included. 

According to the school, a number of offensive photos had previously been removed from online versions of RIT yearbooks, but they remain in hard copy versions.

One of the photos shows several people dressed in KKK hoods, a person who appears to be in blackface, and someone carrying a noose.

Munson released the following statement on Tuesday:

"These highly offensive photos, which appeared in an old student publication, should have been completely unacceptable back then. Today we condemn them in the strongest possible terms. They do not represent our institutional values nor reflect our efforts to make RIT a more diverse and inclusive campus. We remain deeply committed to maintaining a safe and supportive environment with policies that promote dignity and respect for all individuals."

As part of their continuous campus dialogue on racial issues, RIT will hold a Gray Matter discussion Friday, Feb. 22 in the Allen Chapel of the Schmitt Interfaith Center. 

Gray Matter is a discussion series designed by RIT faculty, students and staff to promote exploration of provocative topics related to higher education and the RIT campus community.

The national story from USA Today is expected to go out sometime on Thursday. 


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