A video of Ohio University students received thousands of reactions on Twitter on Monday due to its racist nature.
In the video, one of the students said “one, two, three, four how many n-----s are in my store.”
Maurice Swift, a sophomore and resident assistant at OU, posted the video to Twitter after discovering it on a GroupMe chat.
“I was extremely disgusted at first,” Swift said in an email. “But I decided not to let my emotion cloud my judgement. So instead of acting on the video, I sent it to my supervisor to see what I could do about it.”
Jasmyne Channel, Swift’s supervisor and OU resident director, immediately filed an Equity and Civil Rights Compliance report and forwarded the video to OU’s director of Housing and Residence Life.
“A lot of the residents on campus feel very unsafe, unheard and uncomfortable,” Swift said in an email. “I feel that we get mistreated, and when we voice our opinions, it gets swept under the rug. We never get the justice we deserve.”
OU’s Twitter responded to Swift’s tweet of the video on Monday.
“Thank you for tagging us. We are disappointed that this happened,” OU’s tweet said. “This behavior contradicts OHIO’s values, and the proper departments are looking into this post.”
University Spokesperson Carly Leatherwood said in an email that racism in any form is not tolerated at OU.
“We are aware of the racist post that is circulating on social media, and the appropriate offices on campus have reached out to students who have expressed concern as well as to the student who made the post,” Leatherwood said in an email.
The university will conduct a process to determine whether the Student Code of Conduct has been violated or not.
Leatherwood said in an email that the Division of Student Affairs and the Division for Diversity and Inclusion are available to provide resources and support to anyone with concerns about the incident.
Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones responded to the incident on Twitter on Tuesday.
“I want everyone to know that I’m aware of the racial incident that went public last night, and I’m appreciative of all who were outraged and did something by bringing it to our attention. I can see and hear the hurt that this incident has caused,” Hall-Jones said in the tweet.
Student Senate President Maddie Sloat and Student Senate President-elect Lydia Ramlo sent out a media release on Tuesday condemning the discriminatory behavior on behalf of Student Senate and stand with constituents calling on the university to take disciplinary action.
Sloat and Ramlo also stated that the incident demonstrates a need for increased cultural competency.
“Student Senate maintains its commitment to advocating for more dedicated programming regarding cultural competency, working with administrators and students alike to ensure actions are taken combat these behaviors moving forward,” Sloat and Ramlo said in the media release.
Sloat and Ramlo encouraged OU students to hold each other accountable for any incidences of discrimination or hatefulness and should work together to create a safer, more inclusive environment on campus.