Racial Exclusion

Mock 'Slave Auctions'

First occurring in 1976, Slave Auctions were a University-sponsored fundraising event, meant to raise money for athletic teams and other clubs. Eventually, the practice was abandoned, though for over a decade it continued. Although the Slave Auctions were run a little differently throughout the years and varied on locations, each one followed the same pattern:

“Slaves” or volunteers from the University, such as faculty or students, would dress up in costumes. The slaves would then be put up on the “auction block”, which varied over the years from auditoriums to outdoor podiums or stands. 

They could be sold in groups or as single individuals, where they would be auctioned at minimum bidding (that also varied through the years). The slaves would then be auctioned off to the buyers or the “masters”.

The slaves were then required for a certain amount of time to entertain the master or do whatever the master required, such as “wash dishes, clean apartments, rake leaves or other work.” 

Kircher Kamera Klub

The Kirchner Kamera Klub, better known as the KKK, was a photography club founded in 1974 by the University of Scranton faculty and students. The club was disbanded after 1974, but then came back in 1978, but then closed down again due to the absence of a red room, with the group eventually coming back in 1981. Later on, however, the group was then disbanded in the 1990s after pressure from the University’s students and from student groups such as the Black Culture Club and African American Society Club due to the club’s offensive title. The club is a prime example of how racial insensitivity was present on the Campus.

Racial Insensitivity

University of Scranton records are very limited when it came to individual hate crimes before 1990, however, there are certain instances of micro-aggressions or racist incidents that was found through different articles and letters.

  • In 1983 an article labeled “S. African Policy: change gradually” was written by a writer for the University newspaper the “Aquinas”. This piece defended Apartheid, a racist, systematic oppressive system of living used by the South African government at that time. 

  • (Circa 1980s) There is a photo of an individual wearing blackface while holding a doll, seen in a “Wayne’s Forum”, a magazine for the haunted-house attraction known as “Wayne Manor Haunted House”, which had been sponsored by local radio and news stations. This is racially insensitive due to the history that blackface holds in the United States.

  • In February of 1997, there were two racial incidents that occurred on the University of Scranton campus. The letters "KKK" were written on posters promoting and advertising a presentation by Mohammed Bilal on the topic of diversity. Two weeks after that incident those letters were written again on the message board of the Resident Director of Redington Hall. 

    • This action caused the University Community to receive a letter from the Provost, Vice President for Student Affairs, and the Vice President for University Ministry. This letter was to inform the community that these events occurred and that once the people who were responsible are found, "serious judicial sanctions, including expulsion from the University" will occur.

  • On March 2, 2000, a student (assumed to be African American) had the n-word, which is a racist and derogatory term, put onto the driver side window of his car, written in magic marker. 

    • In a Community Advisory address on this incident, President of the University Joseph M. Shane had mentioned that “many of our student’s had told me that they had been routinely subjected to racial slurs, questions, remarks, or jokes that are both thoughtless and hurtful.” He also stated that "unfortunately the life of our community has been disrupted by several similar incidents in the course of the past year and a half."