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Racial slurs from student in 'hurtful' social media video points to deeper problem, Laurier says
KITCHENER – A video posted to social media showing a Laurier student making racist comments has drawn condemnation from the university.
While the video was taken off-campus, the university has gotten involved.
The video shows a young woman first singing along to a song. Then she stops singing and instead begins repeatedly using racial slurs. She said she was drunk and it wasn't long before the post made the rounds online.
"The words are offensive and hurtful, and they do not reflect the values of diversity, inclusivity and respect that the university strives to encourage in the Laurier community," a statement from Wilfrid Laurier University reads in part.
"The student has apologized on social media. However, the incident indicates the ongoing need to address bigotry and systemic racism."
Director of communications Kevin Crowley calls the video "offensive" and "hurtful."
The situation is now being reviewed under Laurier's non-academic student code of conduct, something the president of the Association of Black Students says is important.
"Even if it didn't happen on campus, there has been a real impact on the students on campus," says Fogo Oriowo.
She calls the video "disturbing."
"Even if you didn't mean to use it in a mean way, the word itself is not for you," she explains.
"It's a word that's used to reclaim history and reclaim ownership and it's not your right to reclaim."
The student in the video apologized on social media, saying she's sorry for the inappropriate words she used, saying she knows what she said was wrong.
She adds that it doesn't reflect her true feelings and that she's ashamed of her drunken words.
Laurier says it will meet with the student in the video, but says that it's too early to tell whether or not she will face any kind of repercussions.
"We do insist on personal accountability but we are a learning institution and we do want constructive outcomes for everyone involved," Crowley says.
Oriowo says she also hopes this can be used as a learning experience to show the reality of how bigotry and systemic racism exists in the community.