UA Little Rock response to "racially insensitive incident" prompts discussion on campus | Arkansas Blog

Monday, April 23, 2018

UA Little Rock response to "racially insensitive incident" prompts discussion on campus

Posted By on Mon, Apr 23, 2018 at 7:00 AM


An update to the imbroglio at UA Little Rock over a brief video of fraternity and sorority students singing along to a racial slur in rap song: THV11 reports on the discussion held by the school on Friday morning, when staff and administrators were available to listen to student concerns.

There was a large crowd of students flowing out the door at the Anderson Institute on Race and Ethnicity on the second floor of the Ottenheimer Library on campus. 

Some highlights from student and administration reactions and comments to THV11:

"This incident has woken up a lot of people,” said Nicholas Moore, a UA-Little Rock student. "This isn’t really about punishment, this is about gaining knowledge, this is about a learning experience. ... We need diverse programs, diverse classes, diversity needs to be pushed at the campus." ...

"It’s bigger than the video. It’s more so about getting students educated about the issue," said Miracle Chase, a UA Little Rock student. ...

"Our students called for more education. They really expressed they want more discussions about diversity and to work with each other,” said Amber Smith, UA Little Rock Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. ...

"Tasteless could be argued, but is it justified in punishing the organizations? I don’t think so," said Zachary Cochran, student at UA-Little Rock.

The controversy began last week when a video was posted on Facebook last week of members of the Chi Omega sorority and Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity singing along to the song "Freaky Friday." The students, partying on a bus and singing along, repeatedly shout out the n-word. The bit in the song they were singing along to is in fact about the notion of white people wishing for permission to say the word (if you're interested in the convoluted context, I tried to explain this postmodern hellscape in my previous post). The Virginia Tech women's lacrosse team made headlines last month doing the precisely the same thing, posting a video of themselves on a bus giddily shouting along to the same bit in the song.

After the video was posted on Facebook last week, UA Little Rock administration responded with a statement that it was investigating what it deemed a "racially insensitive incident" and that the national chapters of the fraternity and sorority had been contacted to to initiate their own investigations. While the school's investigation is ongoing, the Greek organizations have been restricted in their participation in campus programs and activities, university officials said.

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