- The Washington Times - Friday, September 18, 2015

A black University of Buffalo graduate student has admitted to posting “White Only” and “Black Only” signs near several campus bathrooms and water fountains as part of a class project.

Ashley Powell, a graduate fine arts student, apologized in front of a group of more than 70 students at a Black Student Union meeting Wednesday for the “extreme trauma, fear, and actual hurt and pain these signs brought about,” EAG News reported.

Some students walked out of the meeting crying, The Spectrum student newspaper reported. Others denounced Ms. Powell’s project as “racist” and “an act of terrorism.”

Ms. Powell said she posted the signs for a project for her Installation in Urban Spaces class, a 400-level arts class that required she make an installation in an urban area, The Spectrum reported.

“It brought up feelings of the past of a past that our generation has never seen which I think is why it was so shocking for us to see,” Micah Oliver, president for the Black Student Union, told a local ABC affiliate.

“I apologize if you were hurt, but I do not apologize for what I did,” Ms. Powell told the group. “Once again, this is my art practice. My work directly involves black trauma and non-white suffering. I do not believe that there can be social healing without first coming to terms with and expressing our own pain, rage, and trauma.”

University administrators released a statement, saying, “After an initial investigation by University Police, it has been determined that the signs posted in Clemens Hall were part of a student art project. The University is continuing to review this matter through appropriate university policies and procedures,” EAG News reported.

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