Hampton University, a historically black college university in Virginia, broke school tradition by electing the first non-black Miss Hampton University in its 141-year history, according to the Daily Press.
Go to Hampton University’s Website and listed as number one under its code of conduct?
Respect. The school requires “an appreciation for other cultures.”
But October 9th, that “appreciation”, for some, seemed to go out the door as the Miss HU crown went on Nikole Churchill’s head.
Hampton University Junior class president Misha Lawrence says she’s disappointed that some students focused negatively on Churchill’s skin color. “Since some people are specifically mentioning her race, I think that’s a step in the wrong direction”.
But many students say race is actually not the main point of contention in Churchill’s win.
Senior Michael Murry supports Churchill, but says because she doesn’t go to main campus, students worry about her ability to represent the entire university.
After hearing racial comments, the 22 year-old queen wrote a letter to President Obama – asking him to come to campus to speak about “the changes our nation is making towards accepting diversity.”
Just today the nursing student issued an apology to Hampton University students.
The apology reads, “I have now come to regret writing this letter and disappointing the very students that I now represent. I took the comments of a few and blew it out of proportion.”
Student Body President Matthew Washington appreciates Churchill’s apology and says almost all Hampton students do respect each other – no matter their background.
“There are always students who are going to have something negative to say because that’s a pageant. Pageants are clearly subjective, but for the most part Hampton students are happy that Miss Hampton is Nikole Churchill.”