Investigation underway at UMass after email sent to students of color | News
AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — UMass Amherst providing new details as an investigation is underway into emails sent to students of color on campus with racist intent.
If the source of these emails turns out to be a student or staff member within the campus community they will face university sanctions and be referred to the D.A’s office for criminal prosecution.
“It was pretty alarming when I first read them. UMass Amherst has a very diverse community; it is also very inclusive so, to see those emails it was really alarming and disturbing,” UMass Amherst senior Zach Carter said.
Students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are applauding school officials for ordering an independent investigation after racist emails were sent out to black students on campus last month.
“I think it’s great; I think we need to get to the bottom of it, figure out who sent those emails out, and definitely expel them if they are a student,” Carter added.
The university providing an update this week into the ongoing investigation led by Stroz Friedberg Digital Forensics, a cybersecurity company.
“I think they are doing all they can, and I think it’s just going to take some time before we can actually figure out who sent them and take the proper action,” Carter said.
In a communication obtained by Western Mass News, university officials say in part quote,
“Investigators will assess the online targeting of the UMass community across multiple sources, including dark websites, and will leverage custom tools as well as proprietary and commercial datasets in their probe.”
Students we spoke to are hopeful those responsible for sending the emails are held accountable.
“There is always those things that happen, and we never find out who actually did it, so if there is an actual chance we could find out who the culprit is. I think it will show some light and show if anyone wants to do it in the future, we can get you,” UMass Amherst senior Seth Marcano said.
The cyber security company is also looking into whether the emails were targeted or part of a larger white supremacist campaign.
“I haven’t experienced any racism at UMass Amherst myself, so that’s why those emails are very alarming,” Carter said.
We reached out to the cyber security company running the investigation; they said at this time they are not commenting.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the UMass Police Department.