Thursday, February 11, 2016

Malachi Randolph (Photo Supplied)
Goshen student’s tweet stirs up controversy

Posted on Sept. 7, 2013 at 1:00 a.m.

GOSHEN — Ball State University’s student government president, Malachi Randolph of Goshen, resigned this week after posting racist comments on Twitter.

“I resigned to alleviate pressure and distraction from the organization due to the increasing coverage the incident was receiving,” Randolph said in an email to The Elkhart Truth on Friday, Sept. 6. “It was a decision that the executive board and I made together, and I have great hope for the future of Ball State SGA.”

Randolph will be replaced by Chloe Anagnos, former vice president of BSU’s student government and a junior from Elkhart. Anagnos said Friday that Randolph’s tweets were “definitely racial slurs.” She explained that Randolph, who is interning in New York at New York Fashion Week, was feeling frustrated with a celebrity at the event who is of Asian descent.

“Like any 21-year-old would do, you put your frustrations on Twitter for everyone to see,” Anagnos said Friday. “It’s becoming commonplace. I wasn’t offended (by the tweets) but I understand how someone who doesn’t know him or doesn’t know the situation would be offended.”

Randolph’s comments were deleted from his Twitter account but have been posted on The Ball State Daily News’ website. In one of the tweets, Randolph wrote, “I hate when Chinese people make me write emails in Asian speak. They think they know English better than me. #childish.”

Randolph continued in his email to The Elkhart Truth that “in no way were my remarks meant to be perceived as racist, but my poor word choice and insensitivity were interpreted as such.”

He added, “I wish I would have used better judgement. I’m very sorry to all those who were hurt or affected, and I have already learned a great deal from the experience. I love and embrace diversity in every way, and those who know me well can attest to this.”

Anagnos said that student government staff were contacted by The Daily News about the tweets Tuesday night, Sept. 3 — the same day that Randolph posted the comments.

“When we were contacted, we honestly had no idea what was going on,” Anagnos said. “We had to contact (Randolph) and find out what was going on, and it’s hard because he is in New York.”

She continued, “There was a lot of ... disdain, I think, from administration and from different student organizations as well.”

Anagnos said that members of the student government have been busy since Tuesday writing press releases, speaking to the media and trying to smooth the ruffled feathers of different campus groups that have expressed offense.

“I’ve had to set up a lot of meetings with organizations on campus to apologize for what’s going on,” Anagnos said. “We are just trying to rebuild some relationships that might have been damaged.”

Anagnos said she spoke with Randolph on the phone Wednesday and he was very apologetic.

“He just kinda said, ‘I’m so sorry all this has happened,’” Anagnos said. “I do love him dearly and I care about him a lot. I hope that everything goes well for him.”

Tony Proudfoot, a spokesperson for Ball State University, said in an email Friday that Randolph’s remarks on Twitter do not represent the opinions of the university.

“(The posts) are inconsistent with the inclusive culture we want to foster at Ball State,” Proudfoot said in the email. “Our purpose at Ball State is to help students learn through many opportunities both in and out of the classroom. This can serve as a useful reminder that words matter and have consequences.”

Proudfoot added that Randolph’s tweets did not violate any university policy or law and Randolph will not face “formal actions from the university.”

According to Ball State University’s website, Randolph is a junior international business major with minors in Asian studies and Spanish. He had been student government president since April 2013.