University at Buffalo student hangs ‘White Only’ signs on campus, sparks outrage BY Melissa Chan NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Friday, September 18, 2015, 3:10 PM A A A Share this URL ubspectrum.com These "White Only" signs were hung near bathrooms at the University at Buffalo this week. Ashley Powell, a graduate art student, admitted to hanging the signs for a class art project. A University at Buffalo student has sparked outrage and cries of racism after she put up "White Only" and "Black Only" signs on campus, hearkening back to the days of segregation. Ashley Powell, 25, who is black, admitted to plastering the Jim Crow-esque signs near several bathrooms and water fountains in a dorm as an art project to express her struggles with being a minority in the U.S. and to "expose white privilege." "I am in pain," the graduate student wrote in a lengthy explanation posted on Facebook and published by the UB student newspaper. "My art practice is a remnant of my suffering. White privilege and compliance only exacerbate my symptoms." Powell said she hung up the signs to see how many white people would see the signs and do something about it, although she claims it was not a "social experiment." "Today these signs may no longer exist, but the system that they once reinforced still does," she wrote. "Any white person who would walk past these signs without ripping them down shows a disturbing compliance with this system." The signs, which Powell said were created with support from her professor and colleagues, caused a firestorm of controversy on campus. Students denounced the project as racist and a hate crime, ABC 27 reported. "It brought up feelings of the past of a past that our generation has never seen which I think is why it was so shocking for us to see," Micah Oliver, president for the Black Student Union, told the news station. "There was fear expressed, anger, disappointment — all of that," Oliver added. Campus police removed the signs Wednesday. The university said in a statement that they were in fact part of an art project. It's unclear if the student faces any discipline. Chris Martin via Flickr Students at the University at Buffalo campus in New York were shocked to see "White Only" and "Black Only" signs posted near bathrooms in a dorm this week. "The University is continuing to review this matter through appropriate university policies and procedures," the statement said. Powell did not return calls for comment on Friday. In her post, she apologized for inflicting pain but did not regret her actions. "I apologize for the extreme trauma, fear, and actual hurt and pain these signs brought about. I apologize if you were hurt, but I do not apologize for what I did," Powell wrote. The graduate art student, who was born in south Chicago, said she dealt with racism while she attended Southeast Missouri State University as an undergraduate. "I was called a 'n----- monkey' on that campus," she wrote. "I was called a 'n----- b----." "I have generational struggle and trauma in my family like many non-white people currently living in America," Powell added.