SALEM (CBS) – Racially motivated messages sent through Salem State’s hacked Twitter account didn’t dampen the graduation day celebration.
At the time of great celebration and accomplishment, graduates at Salem State University’s Saturday ceremony spoke openly about the hacker and the racially motivated tweets. They voiced surprise and disappointment.
“It’s very unfortunate that that is happening at this time,” one graduate said.
The tweets went up Friday night and voiced anger at the former president and praise for President Donald Trump.
“Trump has done nothing but great things for our country during his presidency and will fix all the wrong that (N-word) president did,” one tweet said.
Another tweet read, “Our education revolves around white working Americans, we don’t need you immigrant thieves in our school. We are better than this.”
Salem State University spokesperson Nicole Giambusso said the school learned of the attacks and quickly took action.
“We were able to get the account under control after midnight and we were able to notify the community,” Giambusso said.
Although the university regained control of its Twitter account, one graduate said that won’t change some people.
“It’s frustrating, but you can’t change people’s minds. People will think how they want to think,” he said.
Governor Charlie Baker was the commencement speaker, but avoided mentioning the tweets.
Graduate David Agolla was willing to talk. He said it’s disappointing.
“I am very surprised. We are very diverse because we have a lot of different people. It’s very shocking,” Agolla said.
However, most of the students receiving their degrees were determined that the incident wouldn’t ruin their day.
“We are so glad a lot of people were not affected by it and were able to brush it off,” another graduate said.
Another said, “I am not going to let that ruin my day. It has nothing to do with me. I just do what I can do.”
Additional security was in place for the ceremony, and the investigation into the incident continues.