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‘White Only,’ ‘Black Only’ signs at UB linked to student art project

Campus police at the University at Buffalo removed signs saying “White Only” and “Black Only” Wednesday afternoon from Clemens Hall on the North Campus in Amherst. A university spokesperson said a police investigation found that the signs “were part of a student art project.”

The campus newspaper, The Spectrum, reported on its website that Ashley Powell, a graduate fine arts student who is black, told a meeting of the Black Student Union Wednesday evening that she posted the signs. The Spectrum noted that many students at the meeting were outraged and walked out. Other students, the newspaper said, denounced the signs on social media as “racist” and “an act of terrorism.”

The Spectrum added that “the project was for a 400-level art class titled ‘Instillation: Urban Space.’ Powell said the goal of the signs and project was to see what people’s reactions would be to them.” The signs were installed at water fountains and bathrooms in Clemens Hall.