National News

Trevecca students believe drug testing may have been racially motivated

Posted November 17, 2017 12:42 p.m. EST

— After two college students were suspected of wrongdoing, their family and mentors believe it may have been motivated by race.

A series of tweets and Facebook posts from family members and friends alleged racial profiling of two black students at Trevecca Nazarene University.

Terrence French, who tweets under the handle Cirvant, mentors one of freshmen involved. According to French's tweets, she told him she and one of her roommates had to test for drugs after a resident assistant smelled marijuana on their floor and searched their room Sunday. University policy requires them to do a search and a test when there is reasonable cause.

With nothing found and the tests negative, French said no one else on the floor, including the students other two roommates, were questioned. French said the two student drug tested are the only black students on the floor.

One of the students' mother posted on Facebook wanting justice for her daughter and her roommate.

One student told News 4 that word spread around campus soon after it happened.

"There definitely was tension going on. There's different sides to the story. One half is saying it was a big misunderstanding. (Other side saying) definitely it was handled wrong, but it wasn't racially motivated. There are some who are questioning is this the place I want to be," said Nick Camillo, a sophomore at Trevecca Nazarene University.

On Thursday, university administrators met with those involved. French tweeted updates after the meeting saying the school agreed the student may have been treated as guilty.

A spokesperson for Trevecca Nazarene University sent News 4 this statement:

The search and test are standard University policy in situations where there is reasonable cause, and there is no indication of targeting in this incident. We take any reports of this type seriously with an expectation that all people on our campus will be treated with love and respect. We are fundamentally committed to ensuring that Trevecca is a safe place for all students and desire that no student feels targeted for any reason. Administration officials are doing a full investigation of this matter and will take steps to ensure that all students are treated with respect and sensitivity.

A university spokesperson said its policy is to check every room every night, and the staff followed procedure.

French said he feels the students deserve an apology and wants the university to continue the conversation about racial discrimination.