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Students, community: U. South Carolina ‘must take action’ after student’s racist Snapchat

Student no longer enrolled; uncertain if she left voluntarily or was expelled.

A University of South Carolina student who posted a racist Snapchat photo on Martin Luther King Day is no longer enrolled at the school … but students and community members want more done.

According to WIS, the student’s selfie included the phrase “Happy (racial slur) Day,” the slur being an abbreviation of the “n-word.”

On Wednesday, the university confirmed the student has left campus, adding it will longer comment on the matter due to privacy laws. WIS notes it is unknown if the student withdrew on her own or was expelled.

If the latter, UofSC could find itself in legal hot water given it’s a public institution.

UofSC President Bob Caslen noted on Twitter that the Snapchat pic is “not reflective of who we are as Gamecocks,” that it was “hurtful to many members of our community,” and said he was “taking steps to address this situation.”

But, like other situations at US campuses, the “teachable moment” can’t be wasted. WIS notes students and community activists don’t want this incident “swept under the rug.”

Senior Lyric Swinton said anyone acting like a bigot and/or making students “feel unwelcome” should be booted from campus: “You don’t deserve to be at this institution.”

Activist Catherine Bruce said that university officials need to do more “to create a campus that represents South Carolina demographically and socially.”

From the story:

According to the 2020 University of South Carolina Diversity and Inclusion Report, the University of South Carolina in Columbia already isn’t representative of the demographic population in South Carolina. The U.S. Census found that, in 2019, African Americans made up over 27% of the population. However, at the University of South Carolina, African Americans made up less than 9% of the student population.

“You have to look at that disparity. You have to say we want our student body to look like South Carolina,” Bruce said.

The number of African American students at the University of South Carolina has remained almost the same over the last decade, with about 2,300 students, despite the university’s overall growth.

“This university has a very deep and hard past as it deals with race and culture and, once we take steps towards acknowledging that and educating all students about what that history actually means, I think the University of South Carolina can truly move forward,” Swinton said.

Bruce also said she wanted more diversity on the UofSC Board of Trustees. Because that will certainly thwart the occasional idiot student who feels a need to put up a racially offensive social media post, right?

Read the WIS articles.

MORE: Students: more disabled, queer, minority faculty after offensive Snapchat

MORE: Univ. refuses to say how it punished student wearing blackface on Snapchat

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 15 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.

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