An investigation is underway at the State University of Albany over an off-campus coronavirus-themed party that may have violated the school’s student code of conduct.
The school’s Asian American Alliance reported the party last week after video footage surfaced over the weekend that showed iced Corona beers and a man in a mask, with the caption, “Coronavirus isn’t gonna stop anyone from partying.”
Shortly after, the organization released a statement, calling the party “insensitive” and “racist” amid the deadly outbreak that has plagued China.
“As members of the Asian community on campus, your party is not funny and completely insensitive,” the student organization said in a statement. “The real-life affects of this virus has led to not only mass stereotyping of Asian people but also hundreds of deaths across the world.”
As the statement continued, the organization called on the Dean of Student Office, the Office of President and the International Student and Scholar Office, and Student Health Services to look into the issue, before likening the mass hysteria and stereotyping to the Ebola outbreak.
“Diseases that affect non-white populations are radicalized in a way that stems from the innate xenophobia of American Society. It serves to dehumanize the affected population,” the organization said. “This has happened with Ebola and has shown its face again with the Coronavirus.”
The school is currently investigating to determine whether or not the party violated the school’s guidelines.
“The theme of this party was distasteful and hurtful and is not representative of Albany or its nearly 18,000 students,” the school said in a statement. “Any allegations of conduct violations will be investigated and addressed through the University’s disciplinary process.”
However, the students involved have yet to be identified.