By CBSBoston.com Staff

AMHERST (CBS) — UMass President Marty Meehan on Monday said the state university system is investigating racist emails and other “vile messages” directed toward Black students at the flagship Amherst campus.

The email circulating on social media was sent to Black student organizations. The school described the message as “violently offensive.”

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In a letter to Amherst students, Vice Chancellor Nefertiti Walker said there have been other acts of “anti-Black hate” in the community, including messages sent through “Contact Us” forms of student organizations, and an incident of someone driving by a group of Black students and yelling a racist epithet.

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“The blatantly racist e-mails recently sent to Black student organizations at UMass Amherst and other deplorable acts of anti-Black hatred are appalling and disgusting,” Meehan said in a statement. “While UMass Amherst is still trying to identify the source of these messages, we do know that the messages in no way reflect the true character of the UMass community and we have zero tolerance for such behavior.”

UMass IT and campus police are investigating the identity of the email sender.

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“My team in the Office of the President is working with UMass Amherst to investigate and to identify the individuals and/or organizations responsible for these hate-ridden messages, and hold them accountable wherever they are,” Meehan said. “As the campus aggressively pursues the source of these vile messages, we must all join in active support of our students, and re-double our commitment to providing a safe, welcoming community for all students.”

CBSBoston.com Staff