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Five Law Students Suspended from Exeter University
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Summary: The University of Exeter removed five law school students after a group chat was posted with racist and sexist comments they had made.

The University of Exeter in South West England suspended five law students for making a series of racist and misogynistic messages online. The students, all members of the university’s Bracton Law Society (BLS), were between the ages of 19 and 23, according to a report by the Financial Times.

  
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The United Kingdom university launched a “major investigation” with help from the police and Students’ Guild. The students allegedly posted comments on a WhatsApp group chat. Exeter stated they do “not tolerate any form of racist, sexist or bigoted behavior.”

Screenshots of the “Dodgy Blokes Soc” group chat were taken, showing their calls for a “race war” and remarking “if they’re black, send em back.” Another shot showed a picture of Sadiq Khan, London’s mayor, with attached comments like “Browns don’t get it” and “Get that cancer away from my ground.”

A member of the group, 21-year-old Arsalan Motavali, posted the screenshots on Facebook and Twitter. Motavali is the former publicity officer of the society. He wrote in his Facebook post with the screenshots, “I refuse to stand by and let such people who speak in these terms go on to recruit at future law firms or be a part of university culture, whilst cowering behind their phones and talking like this about people that are part of the society they represent.”

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One of the suspended students had a job offer from Hill Dickinson LLP, which has now revoked their offer of employment.

A second-year Exeter university law student was “shocked and frustrated” by the comments his “friends” made. Chris Omanyondo, 21, said, “It’s hard really to take it all in an instant.” He is described in the group chat as “the whitest n*****” and a “happy monkey.”



There has been a string of racist fueled attacks across several universities throughout the United Kingdom. A black student at Nottingham Trent University tweeted a video where abusive chants can be heard in the halls of one of the residences at the university. The chants are yelling “we hate the blacks.”

A student at De Montfort University in Leicester said last month that she has been targeted. Elizabeth Sawyer claims she was called a “n*****” repeatedly and had her fellow students direct songs towards her about “lynching” her.

The Bracton Law Society confirmed that the accused students were removed from the committee and indefinitely banned from the society.

Exeter law student Lucy Mills, 20, points to a larger problem at the university. She said, “There is definitely a massive problem with the lack of diversity in race and social class, as well as the number of overprivileged students. Last year someone drew Swastikas and a ‘Rights for Whites’ sign in our halls of residence, and anti-Semitic slogans were written on a white T-shirt social run by the Snowsports club.”

Second-year law student Ciara Walsh, 19, also notes that sexism is widespread on campus, especially from this group. She claims she has been subjected to “gang-rape” jokes by the group. She said, “Sexual assault is something far too common at university, especially when alcohol is involved.” Walsh has taken to Facebook to join the #MeToo movement. Her post stated, “I have myself been groped by a member of the Law society, #MeToo.”

Do you think there needs to be a stricter, no tolerance approach to those who make racist, sexist, or other inappropriate comments? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about the #MeToo movement, read these articles:

Photo: pexels.com



 

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