It's a common college experience. You are randomly assigned a roommate, exchange pleasantries until you meet face to face and live together for at least one school year. In keeping with the tradition, a black student at Georgia Southern University introduced herself to her future roommate off-campus to initiate the process.
"Hey!! Did you just call me," the future roommate responded. "So sorry lol my phone is on silent."
"It was an accident!" the student replied.
"Haha it's all good. I went to add you as a contact and I accidentally called you too," the future roommate wrote.
The next message was not so pleasant.
"Her insta looks pretty normal not too ni--ish," the future roommate allegedly said in a screenshot shared on social media earlier this week by Dajah Morrison, a friend of the black student, who declined to comment and wished to remain anonymous.
"OMG I am so sorry! Holy crap," the future roommate subsequently texted, according to the screenshots. "I did NOT mean to say that. . .I meant to say triggerish meaning like you seemed really cool nothing that triggered a red flag. I'm so embarrassed I apologize."
The future roommate blamed autocorrect. But the Internet did not believe her.
University President Shelley Nickel said in a statement last week that the school "shares the hurt our community has expressed following the use of a racial slur exhibited in a screenshot shared on social media," adding that "there is no place for bigotry or racism on our campuses." The university declined to confirm that the alleged exchange was between GSU students, citing federal law that restricts universities from sharing student records.
The school has attracted attention for racial incidents before. In 2015, a white student drew scrutiny after reportedly posting an anti-Black Lives Matter post on Facebook, threatening the community if they protested, according to the George-Anne, the student newspaper. In 2016, GSU administrators investigated a claim by one of its cheerleaders that she was taunted with racial slurs by fans, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Morrison, a GSU senior, told the George-Anne she hoped sharing the messages would spark a conversation.
"I had to help it spread like wildfire," said Morrision, who did not respond to a request for comment. "I just felt one step closer to the goal: raising awareness, spreading positivity over the hate and using my [small] virtual platform to make a change for the better."
The screenshots have circulated on Twitter, prompting some GSU students to call for the expulsion of the future roommates.
Aspen Heights off-campus apartment complex declined to provide specifics of the incident but spokeswoman Mary Alice Kaspar told The Washington Post in an email that its management team "took immediate and appropriate measures in furtherance of their goal to create inclusive communities where all residents are treated with dignity and respect."
It is unclear if the three students still plan to live together.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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