Students in Scotland will reportedly write a letter of apology to President Obama.
Students at the University of St Andrews in Scotland will reportedly write a letter of apology to President Obama after an incident last week in which they burned him in effigy.
The incident occurred the evening of Nov. 18, when members of the university’s conservative student association burned images of Obama on a beach bonfire, according to local news reports.
On Thursday, Matthew Marshall, president of St Andrews Conservative and Unionist Association, told reporters that the incident was “undoubtedly stupid” and “deeply regretted.”
Marshall was reportedly made aware of the university’s concerns surrounding the matter, and pledged that the society would write to Obama to apologize.
“The U.S. and President Obama are important allies of the United Kingdom and, on behalf of the whole association, I apologize unreservedly,” he said, as reported by The Telegraph.
“This is undoubtedly a stupid act and it is deeply regretted by all of us in the St Andrews Conservative Association,” Marshall added. “I will make sure this never happens again.”
The university led an inquiry into the incident. While critical of the conservative association’s actions, St Andrews determined that they were not intentionally racist.
“The University of St Andrews holds a firm belief in the value of political debate and free expression, but we expect our students to always treat others with respect,” a university spokesman told reporters in Great Britain.
“The burning of any figure in effigy is an act of violence and intolerance and has no place in our modern, international university.”
At nearly 600 years old, St Andrews was Scotland’s first university. The prestigious institution has many prominent alumni, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.