Louisiana Tech University addresses alleged insensitive, racial comments from SGA vice president

LA Tech investigates SGA Vice President's alleged comments
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 7:57 PM CDT
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RUSTON, La. (KNOE) - In a Facebook post that’s since been taken down, Louisiana Tech University Student Government Association (SGA) Vice President Gabriel Freeman allegedly made insensitive and racial comments.

Dr. Dickie Crawford, Vice President of Student Affairs at Louisiana Tech, says an investigation looking into the allegations against Freeman began immediately.

“We always want to give students due process rights,” Crawford says. “And so they can have a chance to be heard and be listened to, and be treated fairly. But we also want to make sure our students that are here, our student body, that’s your faculty staff that here know that, that we do not condone this type of behavior that’s allege to have happened and that we will address it.”

Crawford says the SGA has opened up its own investigation into the incident.

Some students, like junior Naima Bomani, says she thinks all students should be held accountable for their actions.

“You’re representing the entire population of the school,” Bomani says. “Yet you are discriminating against undervalued minority groups.”

Carolyne Tarver, a senior at Louisiana Tech, agrees that action should be taken.

“He needs to be reprimanded and taken off the board immediately,” Tarver says.

Bomani and Tarver say they believe the alleged comments highlight a broader issue that needs to be addressed.

“A lot of people see it low-key, because in the past, like not much has been done about racism, especially on this campus,” Tarver says. “And so people just say it because they know that they’re not gonna have any consequences to their actions.”

Dr. Crawford says the alleged comments do not align with the university’s values, and will not be tolerated. He says they will take necessary action after the investigation is complete.

“When a student body is electing an individual, then that individual is held at a higher standard because they are now leaders of the student body,” Crawford says. “And so what they do and how they conduct themselves is going to be looked at very carefully and be held to a higher standard.”

KNOE reached out to Freeman for comment, who said he will not be speaking with anyone until he has resolved this issue with Louisiana Tech’s administration.

SGA members also declined to comment.