By: Charity Williams, Web Editor
Division and tension has pervaded the air of Georgia Southern as students are taking matters into their own hands to resolve the issue of racial insensitivity. Their actions are a result of the incidents on the Statesboro campus that have involved racially derogatory terms.
But how did we get here?
It started this past summer when a Georgia Southern student allegedly sent a racial slur to her soon to be roommate. This incident went viral and Georgia Southern students were outraged that little action took place.
“C. Schaefer honestly, to me used the word before if it “auto-corrected” automatically. It’s very horrific because she sent this to her African-American roommate and from what I’m seeing they are not doing anything about this. She should have repercussions,” says Ricky Perkins, a student at the Armstrong campus.
According The George-Anne, students at the Statesboro campus came together and marched in protest of the “triggerish incident.” They marched from the Russell Student Union to the RAC where Georgia Southern’s swim meet was being held.
“The student march I feel brought awareness to the situation. Many people did not know what was going on. “What Happened?” Is what I hear on a regular basis, or “What’s this triggerish thing going on?” So speaking from an NAACP perspective , this has been very educational,” says Perkins.
Just a few weeks ago, the second incident happened when a Georgia Southern student posted a video of a professor using the N-word during a lecture. According to The George-Anne, the professor got into a heated discussion about the word with the student. It was alleged that this wasn’t the first time the professor used the N-word and that previous actions had been taken against her.
“The professor could have used the, “N-Word,” instead of actually saying it. The professor could have been understanding as to why it would have offended the student and at least apologize,” says Perkins.
The George-Anne reported that another claim has been made that a second professor at the Statesboro campus has been accused of using the N-word.
According to The George-Anne, a student led walk out was held on November 1 where students on the Statesboro campus walked out of their classes and marched from the Carroll Building to the president’s office. This march/walk out was in response to the incidents going on around the campus and the opinions of students that the administration wasn’t taking enough action.
All these incidents seem to have led to the university taking action in an indirect way. The lecture “From Awareness, to Action, to Innovation: Empowering Leaders Through Inclusive Excellence” that was held on November 6 in the Ogeechee Theater featured Dr. Damon Williams giving a keynote address on diversity and inclusion.
This lecture seemed to be the university’s answer to all of the divisiveness.
Georgia Southern students are fed up and the tension has boiled over within the Statesboro community. Hopefully, these marches and walk out will resonate with administration and everyone will get the outcome that they are hoping for.
Original Reporting Attributed to The George-Anne staff: Ashley Jones, Rachel Adams, Matthew Enfinger, Tori Collins