Late in the night of Jan. 19, the campus bias reporting system was notified that a student had posted a video to a private social media account in which she admitted to using a racial slur in reference to her RA. The editorial board of the Old Gold & Black strongly believes that the university’s response to this incident will set a precedent and that it must seriously consider and prioritize the safety of all students on campus.
With this in mind, we are calling for university administration to consider expulsion. Racism has no place on the Wake Forest campus and should be treated with a zero-tolerance policy to show students that their actions have direct consequences.
Just this week a similar incident happened at the University of Alabama when a white student used the same offensive word targeted at African-American students. Without hesitation, the administration at Alabama decided to expel the student, and Wake Forest must respond the same way.
President Stuart R. Bell of Alabama issued a statement that read, “The actions of this student do not represent the larger student body or the values of our university, and she is no longer enrolled here.”
The Wake Forest student’s threatening statement does not align with the “Pro Humanitate” principles that the student body holds itself to. However, in recognizing that this is not consistent with the university’s values, this forces the campus to acknowledge just how much work is left to be done to ensure a safe, inclusive space for everyone. In understanding this exchange, it is important to center the conversation around students who experience racism every day and to amplify their voices.
Undeniably, other racially-targeted slurs and threatening language occur on campus far too often and are not met with a similar level of attention or recognition. We call on the administration and student body to recognize that this is not an isolated incident, but is an example of the scourge of racism that continues to persist on college campuses today.