By Annie Deitz, Campus Carrier Managing Editor

Sunday night, a series of posts regarding the Black Lives Matter organization and structural racism was uploaded onto the Instagram story of Matt Mixer, an Area Coordinator for Residence Life.

After several stories were uploaded elaborating on the ideas, a brief Question and Answer session was then posted to Mixer’s story as well utilizing the Instagram question sticker. 

On Monday afternoon, President Steve Briggs sent out an email to the Berry community explaining that an incident involving a Residence Life staff member is currently being investigated by the Berry College Human Resources Department, and that the employee has been placed on administrative leave.

“Berry is committed to being a welcoming and diverse campus that encourages positive discussions, fosters generous actions and forms intentional friendships in a caring environment,” the email from Briggs said. “We must continue to build bridges, through our words and actions, that allow people of different backgrounds, interests and experiences to flourish side by side.”

For updates, follow the continued coverage of this issue from the Carrier and Viking Fusion. Look out for stories on the matter in the Carrier’s print issue, out Thursday afternoon.

Posted by Viking Fusion

20 Comments

  1. Shame on Berry for buckleing to pressure. If you can name one positive thing the bum has done for black s or anyone else, change my mind.

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  2. I read each and every statement and find myself in near 100% agreement with the student that made the IG story and I believe that Berry has NO RIGHT to punish him for exercising his first Amendment right. IMO, if Martha Berry were here she would slap the crap out of EVERYONE involved with choosing BLM over free speech. Berry admin SHOULD BE ASHAMED!!

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    1. It wasn’t a student. He was an adult res life coordinator. Read the whole dang article dude.

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    2. That’s 1 of the Problems, you Never read the whole column before you say SOMETHING!!!!!

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    3. By their own words BLM is a Marxist organization, funded by socialist revolutionist, who plan to tear the fabric of this nation apart.President Briggs can handle it in a different way. Barry had better be careful, starting down this path.

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    4. Respectfully, Kevin, get your story straight before you complain about student’s free speech. Mixer is not a student. He doesn’t have those kind of rights because he is paid to represent Berry, he doesn’t pay to represent Berry. Berry can do whatever they want.

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      1. Interesting position. Perhaps the same position taken by the NFL. Players are paid employees who are at liberty to share their personal views that are not reflective of their employer’s. This is viewed as ok or heroic.

        However, when the same metric is applied to the college setting . . . the standards change. Mixer is vilified for the same use of free speech.

        “Berry is committed to being a welcoming and diverse campus that encourages positive discussions, fosters generous actions and forms intentional friendships in a caring environment,” the email from Briggs said. “We must continue to build bridges, through our words and actions, that allow people of different backgrounds, interests and experiences to flourish side by side.”

        Mixer was doing just that and he was chastised for it.

        The most glaring issue is that he isn’t slandering, but rather quoting an organization’s charter.

  3. I find it interesting that a teacher at Berry is able to use his classroom to preach his leftist views, but when someone calls a spade a spade on their own social media, they are removed. Shameful double standard. If you can’t support both sides, don’t support or teach either!!

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    1. It’s not a double standard if one of the views inherently limits someone’s rights. Full support to the BLM and all students of color at Berry College.

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  4. […] has put the “area coordinator” for residence life on administrative leave, according to Viking Fusion, a student-run news […]

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  5. Shame on Berry College . Shame shame shame. Do you teach the Constitution and Bill of Rights?

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    1. They don’t, because Berry is more forward thinking than nationalistic. Full support to the BLM.

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  6. […] College has put the “area coordinator” for residence life on administrative leave, according to Viking Fusion, a student-run news […]

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  7. I am ashamed of my Alma Mater. Indeed Martha is rolling in her grave.

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  8. There are 2 separate organizations: Black Lives Matter Organization (BLMO) and Black Lives Matter Global (BLMG). BLMO is not the organization working to right the injustices committed against people of color but have another agenda. BLMG is working to sound the voices for equality and justice for the black community. In a day and age where social media is at your fingertips too many people fail to completely research before commenting on a subject. But then again social media is used to spread info not factually based. Don’t take every persons word for something they do not know. Black Lives Matter when we see those lives as part of All Lives Matter.

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  9. A person gives an honest opinion and gets “slapped”. BLM goes put and promotes violence and funds subversion and gets supported by A CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY? Most unchristian.

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    1. Berry College is not a Catholic institution, but a private institution founded on Christian principals. Big difference.

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  10. This Berry staff member should be fired full stop. Yes that is harsh. Yes that is messing withsomeone’s livelihood during a pandemic and depression.  I take no pleasure in saying it.
    First, his role is to make people feel at home in the Berry community which his instagram stories extreme lapse in judgement suggests an incapability. 
    Second, this is an institution of higher learning  and his peddling in conspiracy theories, about what BLM is and is not, is cause for alarm. But the failure to acknowledge systemic racism and reject this out right  further suggests a lack of capacity to do the core tenants of his role. Staff, especially in his role, are not protected by nearly the breadth of academic freedom as faculty in that faculty have built in mechanisms for discourse. Any argument around the 1st amendment is laughable. I would be curious to see these same alumni’s reactions to Colin Kaepernick. 
    Finally, many of the Alums responses on Facebook are indicative of how far we have to go to create an anti-racist society. I always found Berry at it’s core to be good hearted while at times parochial. Which is can be fine. Yet reading the comments I see both a failure of liberal arts education to impact the students in a fundamental way and how parochial in the current political climate can turn myopic and hateful to those that are “other”. Emory’s recent discussion with Ibram Kendi included some reflections on the discourse in the Republican party in the lead up to the Emancipation Proclamation. With many urging for gradualism, while radical republicans pushed for immediate emancipation in the face of a clear, eggerious injustice. You can see gradualism and immediacy in the conversations around Civil Rights. History suggests the right thing for the moment when you see great injustice is to fight for immediate change. My hope would be Berry meet the moment with a sense of urgency these times demand.   

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  11. Hate speech is not free speech. Clearly, it’s time for some instruction about the First Amendment which sadly few people who posture about it have studied or understand. Such instruction should have occurred long before college, but given that so many Berry students are products of Georgia schools I can’t say I’m surprised.

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  12. Hate speech that does not provoke violence is not regulated and is protected by the Constitution, so my previous comment is splitting hairs and would not stand up in a court contest. Nonetheless, the sort of speech under review at the moment came from a staff member hired to protect the safety of Berry students and foster inclusion in keeping with the declared mission of the institution. Given a history of such incidents and threats of violence in the past on this campus (and the current climate, including the demonization of BLM as provoked by the the President), the remarks made constitute a very real form of violence.

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