UPDATED 5:30 p.m. Nov. 12

In a reversal of prior statements, Elon University sent out an email to students, faculty and staff Friday night with information about the student who wrote the note "Bye Bye Latinos Hasta La Vista." 

Though the university declined to explicitly identify the person by name, it said a Latino student wrote the note as a joke.

"The message was written by a Latino student who was upset about the results of the election and wrote the message as a satirical commentary," said Smith Jackson, vice president for Student Life.

Multiple sources confirmed on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning the person who wrote the note was of Latino heritage and did so as a joke. ENN looked to confirm the information with a university official, but representatives either refused to provide the information or said they did not know the student's identity.

"Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the university protects the privacy of student educational records, including any proceedings in the campus judicial system," said Dan Anderson, vice president of University Communications, on Thursday. "We would not disclose the identity of students involved in conduct matters without their permission."

Elon has come under much scrutiny since the note gained national attention on social media. 

With accusations of Elon being a non-inclusive campus, the university had a compelling reason to provide information about the student's identity. By doing so, though, it went against previous statements it made to ENN and the Elon community.

"I am writing with some additional information about the report we received yesterday of an offensive message written on a classroom white board related to Latinos," Jackson said in an email Friday night. "While privacy laws prevent us from sharing the name of the student, I think it is important for the campus to know some key facts about the incident."

On Thursday evening, Jackson sent out a prior email saying the student came forward and the university is adjudicated the matter through Elon’s Office of Student Conduct.

University Police Chief Dennis Franks confirmed Friday morning that the university was handling the issue because no crime report had been filed to his office.

"Since this was not a criminal incident, there is no need for Campus Safety and Police to be involved in the matter," Franks said in an email. "It is being handled by the Office of Student Conduct."

A representative from the Office of Student Conduct was contacted on Thursday but has yet to respond to a request for comment about how the office is handling the investigation and what its response would be if there was no malicious intent behind the note.

Efforts to speak Thursday at noon with the suspected author of the note were unsuccessful. 

The note emerged Thursday morning when Tony Crider, associate professor of physics, found it on a whiteboard in his classroom before his 8 a.m. Global Experience course. He posted the photo on Facebook during class time and discussed it with his students.

"Regardless of what its intent was, which I don't know, I told the students, 'This is s---,'" Crider said in an interview on Thursday. "'I do not let this s--- just go by in my class.' I don't usually drop profanity in my class, but I felt it was appropriate."

"Thinking about if afterwards, I don't know if it was dumb s--- or if it was hateful s---. But at least it was that. It was s---."

Many people on social media accused Elon of being a racially intolerant campus, while those within the Elon community said the note did not reflect the university's values. 

Calling the message "reprehensible," Elon President Leo Lambert said it was "directly in conflict with Elon’s values of inclusion and treating each other with dignity and respect."

A significant portion of people who saw the note on social media linked the message to President-elect Donald Trump and viewed it as an attack on the Latino community.

Sylvia Munoz, director of El Centro and interim director for the Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Education (CREDE), was sad when she heard the news but said she was not surprised. When asked Friday whether information about the note coming from a Latino student should be included in a news article, she said publishing the student's Latino heritage would "diminish the fear that people feel right now."

"I think it would be disrespectful not just for my community but also for all the other minority community groups to divert the attention," Munoz said.

Regardless of the person responsible for the note and the motives behind it, Munoz said the focus should be on the message itself and the impact it has had on the Latino community.

"If it was a joke for them, I hope they realize that this is not a joking matter because the fear is real for some people."

UPDATED 6:02 p.m. Nov. 10

The person who wrote the note "Bye Bye Latinos Hasta La Vista" has made a confession, according to a statement from Elon University.

"This afternoon a student stepped forward, took responsibility for writing the message and is deeply remorseful," said Smith Jackson, vice president for Student Life. "The matter is being adjudicated through Elon’s Office of Student Conduct."

Though the person has been identified, the university will not be releasing a name.

"Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the university protects the privacy of student educational records, including any proceedings in the campus judicial system," said Dan Anderson, vice president of University Communications. "We would not disclose the identity of students involved in conduct matters without their permission."

Efforts to contact the author of the note were unsuccessful. A representative from the Office of Student Conduct did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tony Crider, associate professor of physics, found the note today on a whiteboard in Kivette Hall Room 100. He arrived to teach his 8 a.m. Global Experience course. When he saw the note, he talked about it with his students. 

"Regardless of what its intent was, which I don't know, I told the students, 'This is s---,'" Crider said. "'I do not let this s--- just go by in my class.' I don't usually drop profanity in my class, but I felt it was appropriate."

"Thinking about if afterwards, I don't know if it was dumb s--- or if it was hateful s---. But at least it was that. It was s---."

Crider said he took a picture of the note, talked about it with his class, erased the message on the whiteboard and filed a notice of the incident through the university’s bias response system.

Laura Roselle, professor of political science and policy studies posted the note on Facebook early in the morning, writing "There is WORK to be done."

Sylvia Munoz, director of El Centro and interim director for the Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Education (CREDE), was sad when she heard the news but said she was not surprised.

"I'm shocked, but not really," she said. "Things like this would be expected, but we're going to address that."

Several students in El Centro de Espanol expressed their frustration when they saw the note, but they did not wish to be identified.

UPDATED 1:15 p.m. Nov. 10

In an email sent via Jeff Stein, associate vice president and chief of staff, to all undergraduates, graduate students, law students and faculty and staff of Elon University, President Leo Lambert addressed the message found on the whiteboard in Kivette Hall this morning.

In the statement, Lambert said the professor who found the note on his classroom's whiteboard erased it after photographing it and submitting it via the university's bias response system.

"I want to say emphatically that this incident is reprehensible and directly in conflict with Elon’s values of inclusion and treating each other with dignity and respect," Lambert said in the email. "Because this is a potential violation of Elon’s Code of Conduct, we will investigate the matter using our campus security camera system, attempt to determine who wrote the message and hold them accountable. Elon will not tolerate harassing, denigrating, or intimidating actions that create a hostile environment."

In the email, Lambert also acknowledged "great differences in our society" and offered the support of the community to Hispanic/Latino students.
Sylvia Munoz, director of El Centro and interim director for the Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Education (CREDE), was sad when she heard the news but said she was not surprised.

"I'm shocked, but not really," she said. "Things like this would be expected, but we're going to address that."

Several students in El Centro de Espanol expressed their frustration when they saw the note, but they did not wish to be identified.

This story will continue to be updated.


ORIGINAL STORY

A note reading "Bye Bye Latinos Hasta La Vista" was found on a whiteboard in Kivette Hall Room 100 at Elon University this morning. It is unknown at this time who wrote the note.

Laura Roselle, professor of political science and policy studies posted the note on Facebook early in the morning, writing "There is WORK to be done."

Tony Crider arrived in the classroom today to teach his 8 a.m. Global Experience course. Roselle said she heard about the note from Crider and took to Facebook to express her frustration.  

The note was erased on the whiteboard before 11 a.m.

Sylvia Munoz, director of El Centro and interim director for the Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Education (CREDE), was sad when she head the news but said she was not surprised.

"I'm shocked, but not really," she said. "Things like this would be expected, but we're going to address that."

Several students in El Centro de Espanol expressed their frustration when they saw the note, but they did not wish to be identified.

Around 11:30 a.m., multiple faculty members, including Munoz, were called into a meeting to address the situation. The university is expected to release a statement shortly.

This story will continue to be updated as more information emerges.


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