Uni suspends students in blackface, Nazi outfits
DRESSING up as the Ku Klux Klan, Hitler, Holocaust survivors and in blackface has earned Charles Sturt University (CSU) students suspensions or other penalties for causing "global outrage".
The university issued punishments two weeks after students dressed in the outfits - the man in blackface holding a basket of cotton - for a June 14 party near its campus in Wagga Wagga.
They then posed for photographs which were shared online on Instagram and Facebook, causing widespread condemnation.
A caption on the image of five students in white hoods and one covered in black paint said: "Very very politically incorrect. Cotton prices are unreal thought so it's a great time to be pickin'."
The other students dressed up as Jewish Holocaust prisoners and one as Hitler in a Nazi uniform,
The images were posted onto Facebook and quickly spread online until damning comments flooded in and the original Instagram account was set to private.
In a statement on Monday, CSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann said: "These images resulted in global outrage and contact to the University from individuals around the globe.
"On a local level, it deeply offended our indigenous and Jewish communities."
"As a University we will not tolerate or condone this behaviour, we will however work with students during their suspension to further educate them on the cultural impact of their actions."
Penalised students would have to "complete the University's indigenous Australian Cultures, Histories and Contemporary Realities subject as well as engage with indigenous and Jewish communities".
Following the dress-up party, at the Black Swan Hotel in Wagga, angered Facebook users attacked the students.
"WTF is actually wrong with you. Total disgrace," wrote one person.
"Cowardly clowns … still covering their ugly faces," said another.
The Black Swan Hotel distanced itself from the students and said it hadn't been aware of the costumes, although some disbelievers took to Facebook to slam the hotel.
Prof Vann said in his statement that "all students involved in the incident have shown remorse for their actions and been offered ongoing counselling and support".
"CSU has a strong stance against racism as outlined in our Anti-Racism Policy. I am satisfied that the outcomes of our investigation reflect this view," he said.