A petition has been launched to expel an incoming Iowa State University freshman who used a racial slur on social media this week.
Kyle Malaker has come under fire from the Iowa State community after he posted on Snapchat a picture of three men near a sign for the campus's Black Engineering Building, with the caption "n****s only."
Malaker told the student paper that he and his friends from the engineering program—the students in the picture—thought the photo would "funny," but that he quickly deleted it when he "realized how stupid it was."
Before he took it down, others had taken screenshots of the post and shared it on Facebook and Twitter, with comments such as "THIS IS NOT OK!" and "Ignorance at its finest."
The president of the student government tweeted, "There is no place for racism, hatred, or bigotry at ISU. Ignorance shall never be an excuse. Educate yourself and think before you act."
One student called on people to help identify the students in the photo.
Malaker told the Iowa State Daily, "I'm not an offensive person at all and I never want to be."
"I feel really bad and embarrassed about it. I don't want to get off on the wrong foot," he added. "I'm extremely sorry about it. I just want to have a good four years at Iowa State."
"It's definitely a lesson learned for me and everyone," Malaker said. "I'm not racist at all. I was just trying to be funny and it turned out to be not funny. Just manage your social media account and don't do stupid stuff, it sucks."
A doctoral student at the university, Lincoln Wesley Harris, Jr, responded on Facebook, "Of course you are sorry now Kyle Malaker. Sorry you got caught. You say you are not offensive or racist. Yes, yes, you are both of those things. If walking past a sign that says ‘Black' makes you think ‘n****,' you sir are a racist. Period."
Martino Harmon, Iowa State's senior vice president for student affairs, released a statement calling the post "racist, thoughtless, and hurtful."
University administrators are aware of the incident, and will be dealing with Malaker and those in the photo, but will not release details about the disciplinary action.