In the shadow of reported vandalism that targeted a #BlackLivesMatter Homecoming parade float, the Boise State University Afro-Black Student Alliance has produced a video response to the incident.
The video is entitled "Black Broncos Matter."
UPDATE: October 18, 2016
It was the afternoon of October 14 when the Alliance had decorated a golf cart, prior to the October 15 Homecoming parade. According to the university, all of the cars/floats had been left unattended in the Brady Street Parking Garage during the overnight hours of Oct. 14. But when members of the Afro-Student Alliance arrived Oct. 15 to participate in the parade, they noticed that their decorations had been damaged: streamers torn, balloons popped and a "Black Lives Matter" sign was missing.
"The Boise State University Department of Public Safety is actively investigating the situation and asks anyone with information that could help with the investigation to please call 208-426-6911," read a statement from the university on Tuesday.
BSU officials added that they were "actively working in partnership with members of the Afro-Black Student Alliance to identify opportunities to advance dialogue, confront bias and foster a more inclusive campus community."
ORIGINAL POST: October 16, 2016
Boise State University culminated its homecoming week festivities late Saturday when the Broncos fought off the Colorado State Rams 28-23 at Albertsons Stadium.
The celebrations included a fair amount of partying and the grand opening of Boise State's new 44,000-square-foot, $14.5 million Alumni and Friends Center on University Drive. Just prior to the opening, a parade stretched through campus and into downtown Boise, featuring floats, cheerleaders and a marching band.
Things took an ugly turn when a float built by the Boise State Afro-Black Student Alliance was vandalized. The float had been built by the student alliance "to raise awareness about the Black Lives Matter movement."
Details haven't yet surfaced, but early Sunday morning, Boise State President Bob Kustra confirmed the vandalism had specifically targeted the alliance's float.
"Let me say unequivocally that I and all Boise State leaders condemn this act and any attempt to quiet the constitutionally protected free speech of students and others on our campus," Kustra wrote in a statement.
Kustra said Boise State security is investigating the reports, "and will support the students if they choose to report the vandalism to police." He added that university officials had reached out to ABSA student leaders to express support.
"We intend to continue to do all we can to keep Boise State a safe and welcoming campus for all students," wrote Kustra.
Outrage and sadness over the incident were expressed in a number of tweets and Facebook posts Saturday night and early Sunday.
"They destroyed our Black Lives Matter homecoming float y'all... #boisestate for you," tweeted ABSA President N'nandii Alexander, who went on to question an early suggestion that wind had damaged the float.
"How come the wind didn't affect anyone else's float. How? Explain to me," she wrote.
"BSU deserves to be acknowledged on a national level by our achievements. Not shoved into national media attention because of the acts of a few cowards," wrote one Facebook user.