Ramsey issues apology for Halloween costume

By on November 12, 2015

By Olivia Krauth–

Two weeks after President James Ramsey made waves with his “insensitive” Halloween costume, he emailed the U of L community regarding the next steps.

The email began with an apology, then outlined the steps he plans on taking to correct the situation.

“I deeply regret the Halloween costumes worn by my staff and me,” Ramsey said. “We made a mistake wearing a costume that misrepresents the culture of Mexicans and Mexican Americans and does not foster the inclusion and diversity efforts that we have worked hard to build over the past 13 years on our campus.”

Steps included recruiting more Hispanics and Latinos for faculty positions, building Hispanic/Latino scholarships, improving facilities for diversity support programs and providing more support to underrepresented faculty and students. Ramsey also said they would be working to “better address the needs of our community’s diverse populations.”

After a photo showing Ramsey and staff in stereotypical Mexican garb made national headlines, students have protested and met with Ramsey. Over 70 faculty members signed an open letter, pushing him to do more.

“I will call on you and our shared governance structure of campus leaders to assure that these commitments to our diverse populations on campus are swiftly implemented,” Ramsey said, saying he will not be delegating these duties. “We will ensure that this is not a ‘zero-sum’ game—these new initiatives will not be achieved at the expense of existing commitments.”

Spokesperson John Karman said earlier today cultural sensitivity training is in the planning stages for Ramsey and his staff.

“As we come together as one university, we will work to make us the best university in Kentucky and beyond, one that fosters a campus climate where diversity is proactively understood, pursued, nurtured and celebrated,” Ramsey said.

Photo courtesy / The Courier-Journal

About Olivia Krauth

Copy Editor at The Louisville Cardinal.

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