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LSU: Prospective student who posted racist video won't attend school in the fall

3 months 1 week 2 days ago Monday, June 15 2020 Jun 15, 2020 June 15, 2020 9:00 PM June 15, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - LSU said in a new tweet Monday (June 15), the admitted student who posted an offensive video on social media earlier in the month will not be attending LSU in the fall.

LSU tweeted the new information in a Twitter thread about the situation.

For days, LSU has had to take action to define its stance as firmly in opposition of hate speech after video of the incoming freshman using racial slurs began to circulate on social media. 

More than a week ago, an incoming freshman was called out for using an offensive word in reference to African Americans. 

Actress Skai Jackson, known for using her social media accounts to call out racist behavior, tweeted the video of the freshman.

The alleged behavior of the young man featured in the video sparked outrage online, motivating many users to tweet LSU, requesting that something be done about the incoming student's offensive speech. 

The university responded by issuing a statement that emphasized its stance on hateful speech, saying that while the constitution allows free speech, which includes negative and offensive words, "LSU denounces racist speech" and "conduct by a member of the LSU community that is found in violation of our policies will be addressed." 

Since, LSU announced the likely renaming of its main campus library. Named for Troy Middleton, LSU's President in the '50s and '60s, who was recognized as a racist after writing about confining black students to a "given area."

The video of the incoming freshman occurred only days after the LSU Reveille reported that another student was removed from her sorority following the circulation of a Snapchat video that allegedly showed the student and two other young women using racial slurs.

The video was originally posted on Twitter by Texas resident Diego Garcés who was familiar with some of the women from attending high school in the Woodlands area. The three women in the video are shown laughing as they repeat racial slurs.

It was later reposted by @HarperSee via Twitter, who alleged the student’s association with LSU Tiger Girls and Tri Delta sorority.

The University student who was alleged to have participated in the video was a member of Tri Delta sorority and a Tiger Girl for the 2019-2020 school year. According to Tiger Girls Coach Kandace Hale, the student was not re-selected for membership during auditions, which took place several weeks prior to the incident. 

“However, we do want to say that we won’t support or condone such behaviors and have always supported all athletes of every culture, background and race,” Hale said. “We are proud of our team diversity and always have been.” 

Tri Delta issued a statement addressing the incident and confirming that the student in question was no longer a member of their organization. An amended statement on Saturday clarified that the student had not yet been removed, but the chapter "has taken all actions to terminate" her membership. 

“Please know that this individual's shameful actions are not a reflection of our chapter as a whole,” Tri Delta President Maddie Burk wrote. “However, as an organization that is currently predominantly white, we know that we can do better, and we are committed to doing exactly that. Please know that we are listening, and our hearts are completely open to learning and growing.”

The statement also pledged to implement education on the history of racial injustices, advocate for marginalized students and hold members accountable for maintaining an inclusive atmosphere. 

Twitter users alleged that the other two women in the video were members of Zeta Tau Alpha at Texas Tech University and Tri Delta at the University of Alabama. Both sororities responded to social media messages and said the students were facing judicial boards. 

Garcés said he didn't post the video to incite hate but to draw attention to the women’s offensive behavior. According to Garcés, all three women are well-known within the Woodlands area. 

“I’m not saying expel them, but rather they should be involved with [organizations] that will help them understand what they did was absolutely wrong, teach them about the privilege they have as white women, and how their words are never okay,” Garcés said. 

Garcés referred to the Woodlands as a “bubble” where the majority demographic is "white and wealthy." 

“They know the impact that their words and actions have and instead of using them to help out the less privileged, they used it to use a racial slur and to bully and put down other people at their schools,” Garcés said.

LSU's full statement on incidents involving students using offensive racial slurs was first issued last weekend:   

In recent days, we have been made aware of derogatory and racist social media posts by current students, incoming freshman or other members of the campus community.

To be clear, we at LSU condemn hate and bigotry in any form, including racially incendiary remarks. As a state university, however, we are subject to constitutional limitation on our ability to take action in response to free speech. That means the freedoms that allow for the current meaningful and poignant protest also protect speech that we may find repulsive and offensive.

But just because people have the right to say something doesn’t mean they should. Racist statements are hateful, inflammatory and harmful to everyone. They only serve to tear down the bridges that the overwhelming majority of us in society want to build.

Although we can’t comment on individual complaints, let it be known that conduct by a member of the LSU community that is found in violation of our policies will be addressed. Let it also be known that LSU denounces racist speech. We stand together for equality and justice, and we condemn racism in any form.

The university issued another statement Monday evening on Twitter in a thread, apologizing for the earlier tweet "not effectively communicating the school's core messages."

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