Monkey photo

LSU is reviewing a photo of a University student hanging a plush monkey by a noose that circulated Twitter Sunday night to determine if it violates the Code of Student Conduct.

The photo was posted on Snapchat by Madeline McCollister with the caption “Just crafting with the girls.” The Snapchat was deleted soon after it appeared on Twitter.  

LSU Media Relations Director Ernie Ballard confirmed that McCollister is not a current University student, but the woman in the photo is.

McCollister sent an apology to the person who originally posted the photo on Twitter, saying "it did not occur to me that the pic was offensive."

McCollister has not yet responded to a request for comment from The Daily Reveille. 

University alumna Kyra Hudson quote tweeted the initial tweet, saying the University needs to be notified of the matter.

Hudson said she was president of the African American Culture Center’s Ambassadors at the University, and one of the members of the association contacted her about the tweet.

Hudson said she felt the best action would be to alert administration about the tweet. She also said members of the African American Ambassadors attempted to contact LSU President F. King Alexander.

“My first action was to get some of administration involved,” Hudson said. “Which is why under my post, I had legit every office involved that I could think of.”

Although Hudson reached out to the University, she said there was a waiting period, assuming that it was due to everyone being on fall break.

“The school basically gave a political answer,” Hudson said. “They said that it was basically freedom of speech. [I] think it’s hate speech in a way, and I think that’s something they should be concerned about.”

Hudson said she is aware the post said the student was “being crafty,” but Hudson said “creating a noose is not crafty to me at all.”

“I didn’t see anything craft-worthy,” Hudson said. “It looks like a joke. She probably got a couple of laughs off it, but it offended a large community group.”

Hudson said although the picture may not necessarily be racist, it showed disregard for how it may affect others. 

“It was offensive how she didn’t consider how it could possibly affect other people," Hudson said. "I kind of don’t think she doesn’t even care.”

According to Hudson, numerous student organizations have contacted Alexander since Monday.

The University released a statement on the matter, saying the University is currently handling the case.

“LSU is committed to providing an inclusive, welcoming environment for all students," the statement said. "We have reached out to the student in question and will take the appropriate steps based on the details of the situation.”

Ballard said the case will be reviewed by the Office of the Dean of Students to determine if it is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct. 

“We’re supposed to be going to a diverse university, a university that’s supposed to support diversity,” Hudson said. “You kind of negate that when you have people who are taking pictures like this, and you’re deeming it as a freedom of speech because then people won’t feel welcomed if you have people who will make jokes about my race.”

This story will be updated as more information becomes available. 

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