The university responds
By Fareeha Rehman
On Tuesday, May 15 Twitter user @heyitsgene uploaded a video with students in a car, singing Freaky Friday by Lil Dicky ft. Chris Brown. The 14 second clip uploaded to what appears to be Snapchat, showed the students singing the N-word at least 9 times. The caption was, “these are nursing students at George Mason University. twitter, do ya thang @GMUBAC @BSA_GMU”
— ya mammy (@heyitsgine) May 16, 2018
The tweet, posted at 11:12 p.m. was retweeted 84 times, liked 45 times and had 7,447 views by 2:00 a.m. Update: the tweet now has 569 retweets, 454 likes and more than 60 thousand views, as of noon the next day.
The university emailed a statement on the video to students and Fourth Estate:
Dear Patriots,A video of several George Mason students is circulating on social media that shows them singing a popular song that includes a racial slur and other demeaning language. This video and the behavior of the students are offensive and do not reflect the values of our university.While language and song lyrics are legally protected, words and actions can be hurtful, insensitive, and spark outrage among members of our community. Regardless of the intent, the impact is deep.George Mason is committed to being an inclusive university where all in our community can thrive. We urge our students to use their best judgment and think about how their actions affect others.The video raises important concerns that require more than a statement. These concerns focus on how we create an inclusive and just community – including addressing racism, privilege, and the misappropriation of language on our campuses.This is a serious issue. As a community, we need to do better.Rose Pascarell, Vice President for University LifeJulian R. Williams, Vice President of Compliance, Diversity, and Ethics
Tamia Mallory, a senior at Mason claimed that the girls are involved in Mason in leadership positions, sorority life and in cheerleading.
“Getting on twitter to see a video of white girls saying the N-word who also taught University 100 as Peer Advisors with me made me feel sick, to say the least. I’ve seen multiple videos like this on twitter, but it rubs you a different way when it’s someone you’ve personally interacted with. Like, now I see how y’all feel about us behind closed doors,” said Mallory.
Mason students on Twitter are sharing the tweet and tagging administration accounts – @GeorgeMasonU and University President Ángel Cabrera @CabreraAngel
Twitter user and Mason student @_trxntt tweeted, “.@CabreraAngel i don’t believe this behavior is representative of the diverse and inclusive nature of George Mason University.”
Twitter user @wintanahabtu tweeted that she is from the same school of nursing as the girls in the video. Fourth Estate has reached out for comment from the alleged girls via email to confirm.
@wintanahabtu also tweeted, “Just makes me wonder if they have no issue, even being excited to use a word so violent towards black people, how would they treat their black patients?”
Before the university released their statement, The Black Student Alliance at Mason tweeted “We do NOT need a statement, we do NOT need answers, but we do need and demand ACTION. This henders [sic] the environment of a diverse and inclusive campus that George Mason University claims to be. @CabreraAngel @MasonPatriots it is your time to stand up for what is right.”
Statement from GMU Black Alumni:
On Monday at the Black Graduates Reception our BAC President told us to stay woke and take action! What better time than the present?! As concerned students, alumni and citizens of our community (@georgemasonu and others) we are vested in educating people on diversity, inclusion
— GMU Black Alumni (@GMUBAC) May 16, 2018
Update: Mason sororities and Panhellenic have released statements, confirming the students are members of Mason sororities.
GMU Alpha Phi sorority tweeted a statement, an internal judicial process has launched.
Our Official Statement Concerning Recent Events: pic.twitter.com/7gH2y15CgU
— GMU Alpha Phi (@GMUAlphaPhi) May 16, 2018
Chi Omega sorority and Omicron Pi have also uploaded statements to their Facebook:
Article will be updated as more information comes in.