Apology Over Offensive Poster at Wesleyan

Student who posted the fliers said she meant it as a joke.

A student at Wesleyan University has apologized after posting fliers on campus that read "No Colored People" were allowed in the school's student union.

The fliers were posted Friday during an international celebration on the Middletown campus Friday. The University's South Asian Student Association (Shakti) presented the celebration of Holi, a Hindu holiday observed in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Known as the "Festival of Colors", the holiday is often celebrated by people throwing colored paint and powder at each other.

Organizers were concerned that students covered in the paint and powder could make a mess inside the student union, known as Usdan at Wesleyan.  So, senior "Katherine Y." posted the fliers that read "No Colored People in Usdan: but seriously if you're covered in colored powder you can't come in".

Katherine issued an apology on a blog over the weekend.

"This was my fault and I want to take 100% responsibility for it," she said. "Shakti was asked by Usdan to put up posters telling people who had participated in Holi not to enter Usdan in order not to make a mess of colored powder everywhere, and the above poster occurred to me as a joke. I'm not sure why the obvious offensiveness of it didn't hit me in the face immediately, and I am deeply, deeply regretful that I ever printed these."

The fliers sparked outrage from some students at Wesleyan, which is considered one of the more liberal schools in the country.

"The obvious offensiveness was the joke. How could that not hit you in the face?" posted one anonymous student on the blog.

A spokesperson for Wesleyan initially said the fliers were a "communications problem" but then said it was more of a case of bad judgment by the student and that there was no malicious intent.

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