Cabrini responds to viral racial slur video

By Editorial Staff
January 28, 2020


Editor’s Note: Names have been withheld to respect privacy. Updated 1/31

On Monday, Jan. 28 Dr. Christine Lysionek, vice president of student life,  released a statement addressing students’ use of a “racial slur and inflammatory language” in the use of song lyrics. 

The incident began on Wednesday, Jan. 22 after a student obtained a video and reposted it on their social media platforms. The video that was reposted contained a white student-athlete allegedly singing the n-word on a bus coming back from an athletic game.   

 Once the video was reposted, the controversy quickly escalated and led to multiple arguments and disagreements by various members of the community. 

Within 24 hours, the video reached several thousand views and sparked various discussions on campus. The post has since been deleted. 

Lysionek, speaking on behalf of the university, reminds students “to discuss differences with respect and civility, regardless of whether the discussion takes place online, in print, or in person.”

Lysionek additionally wrote that the use of “racial slurs and intolerant language are never an acceptable form of expression, regardless of context.”

She referred to the Code of Conduct and/or Bullying Policy.  The policy seeks to instill community standards of respect in regards to student’s verbal, electronic and written communication.  

 She made sure that students understood that violators “will be subject to the full range of sanctions outlined in Cabrini’s policies.” 

According to page 12 of the Student Code of Conduct, “Students must be aware that they are solely responsible for the content of their [social networking] sites and that neither the networking services nor Cabrini University assumes any responsibility for what students place there.”

In order to avoid further contention, the university is working alongside Black Student Union to offer new opportunities to help “educate” about “race and language.”   

At the time of this publication, Cabrini Athletics has not released a statement addressing this matter.

Editor’s note: Update 1/31

On Friday, Jan. 31 Lysionek sent an email on behalf of Black Student Union (BSU). In the email BSU addresses, “the urgent concerns on Cabrini’s campus regarding the usage of racial slurs and inflammatory language when being used in the context of song lyrics.”

In order to maintain a community, where all feel respected, BSU reminds everyone to keep in mind the impact one’s words and actions can have.

BSU is working with Cabrini to create new opportunities to educate students on race and language. BSU is working to develop forums, discussions, and training to help “bridge the gap.”

BSU notes, “We are aware that this is not the first time something along these lines has taken place at our institution and it will not be the last, but we can take this opportunity to educate and make a positive change because we can do better.”

Editorial Staff

1 thought on “Cabrini responds to viral racial slur video”

  1. As an alumnus, I cringe every time I read of such unacceptable conduct. It is great to hear of the Black Student Union’s positive response to the Dean’s request. However, it is never the responsibility of the offended community to ‘educate’ the offenders or the campus environment that produced such egregious behavior. I would not be surprised if our minority communities on campus and of our supportive alumni uniformly turn to the leadership of the university – student, faculty, and administrative leadership — and say, “You are the educators. Do your job.” Starbucks stopped everything for a full day to focus on Just such discrimination. They made that action public to speak to the public about where they stand and what they will not tolerate. The question is whether Cabrini will learn from their example.

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