A controversy is boiling at Georgia Southern University, after a student sent her potential roommate a text with a racial slur, then tried to blame it on spellcheck.
Courtney Schaefer was paired with fellow student Nwamaka Nnadi as a roommate for the upcoming school year.As they began to text each other to get acquainted, Courtney screwed up.
Clearly intending to text someone else, she wrote: “Her insta looks pretty normal not too *n-word-ish*” She immediately recognized that she’d sent that text to the wrong person, and followed it up with: “OMG I am so sorry! Holy crap. Damn spell check I did NOT mean to say that. I was texting Hannah and I meant to say triggerish meaning like you seemed really cool nothing that triggered a red flag! I’m so embarrassed I apologize.”
Quick thinking, Courtney. But the “triggerish” defense is not likely to hold up under pretty much any scrutiny.
Nwamaka shared screenshots of those texts with a private group of friends on Twitter, and friend Daijah Morrison posted it on Facebook, where it was widely shared publicly before she eventually took the post down.
In a statement to the university, Georgia Southern president Shelley Nickel wrote “The use of such racist comments is offensive and unacceptable and in no way reflects the attitudes or values of Georgia Southern University. To be clear, there is no place for bigotry or racism on our campuses.”
But the statement doesn’t mention what disciplinary measures, if any, will be taken against Schaefer. In fact, some Georgia Southern students are upset, believing Schaefer’s status as an athlete will shield her from repercussions.
Shelby Todd wrote: “we have a NO TOLERANCE yet Courtney Schaefer remains on the swim team. Unacceptable. I’m disappointed. If it were a non-athlete student they would have been dismissed already.” @SenoritaAnita01 tweeted: “This statement is meaningless unless you expel Courtney Schaefer. If there is no room for bigotry or racism on campus, there is no room for her.”
For now, Schaefer remains on the GS Eagles’ swim team roster, as does diver Hannah Mudge, the intended party for the n-word text, and students are singling out Mudge as well as the intended recipient.
The university is now struggling with how to move forward in light of this incident and a culture that’s still seen as frequently antagonistic to people of color. Student Leon Bowles told student newspaper The George-Anne: “I think I speak for the entire African-American population of Georgia Southern when I say that while I am not surprised, I am angry and disappointed.”
The student body at Georgia Southern is 61.6% white and 26.5% black or African American.
What do you guys think? Should Courtney Schaefer be expelled? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending..