ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Police are investigating a ‘disturbing’ incident involving a Black student during rush week at Abilene Christian University.
ACU President Phil Schubert addressed the incident, which he says was documented in a short video, showing a Black student being targeted with paintballs.
Schubert says that as soon as school officials learned of the video, ACU police were notified and opened an investigation.
The investigation, which is criminal in nature, is still ongoing and no arrests have been made at this time.
“We will not tolerate hazing of any kind, of any person, or any racially motivated mistreatment of one another,” Schubert explains to a letter sent to ACU students, faculty, and staff.
Read the letter in its entirety below:
I want to make you aware of an incident that took place during a fraternity rush the week of Sept. 20 where a disturbing short video shows a Black student being targeted with paintballs.
As soon as we learned of this situation, we immediately reported it to the ACU Police Department, which opened an investigation. Student Life leaders also promptly reached out with support from our Counseling Center to all students involved.
We are following appropriate processes and acting on the facts of the investigation in this incident as we would in all matters, and we remain committed to taking great care and concern around issues of race. ACU seeks to be an open and transparent community, and yet we also want to honor the privacy of the student involved and the confidentiality required during an ongoing investigation.
Along the way, we have spoken to the fraternity involved and are following the facts as they relate to disciplinary action once the criminal investigation is concluded. We will not tolerate hazing of any kind, of any person, or any racially motivated mistreatment of one another.
While the specifics of this individual circumstance are still under investigation, a video like this reminds us of the traumatic violence toward Black men and women, and other people of color throughout history. Such events are incredibly painful and represent the worst of our humanity. They also remind us of the healing power of God’s love and our redemption through Jesus.
Our mission as a university and our desire to follow Christ demand that we always walk in love and compassion for one another. As an institution of higher learning, we are seeking to do just that as we navigate this disheartening matter.
Abilene police were also notified of a “hazing” incident that happened at Abilene Christian University the week of September 20. It’s unconfirmed if this report also stems from the paintball incident.