Georgia Southern students hold protest over racist comments

GSU students protest over racist comments

STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - A text message attributed to a Georgia Southern student over the summer continues to draw outcry. The text included a racial slur and they want the student disciplined.

Students want the student accused of sending the message removed from the university swim team. That’s why they marched right up to where the team is holding their first meet of the season.

Several student organizations gathered Friday to voice their outrage that the university has not taken action. Before school started, an African American student told friends she got a text message from her would be off-campus roommate. She said it was meant for someone else but included a racial slur. She shared the messages and it claimed the student blamed it on her phone’s autocorrect function, but students here say her status on the swim team sends a bad message.

“Even though it was ‘just’ a text message, that doesn’t make it any less toxic or change that person’s character. That’s what we’re more concerned about is the character of our athletes and people who represent the school than what they say and do,” said Ashton Johnson, University NAACP President.

Management of the off-campus housing quickly stated they were making other arrangements for the students. At the start of this controversy, Interim University President Shelly Nickel issued a campus-wide email affirming a university as a place for inclusion and denounced anything to the contrary.

The university has not commented on this specific controversy. One student government member says he plans to draft a resolution requiring students to take a diversity training class as part of the curriculum.

Copyright 2018 WTOC. All rights reserved.