KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The University of Tennessee-Knoxville said Wednesday an incoming student who used a racial slur on a video that surfaced on social media will not be a cheerleader or a student at the university this fall.
The university said in a statement to WATE 6 On Your Side:
“The University of Tennessee has received several reports of racist remarks and actions on social media by past, present and future members of our community. The university takes seriously our commitment to fostering a Volunteer community that values equity, inclusion and that promotes respect for all people. We have a responsibility to support our black students, and create a place where all Vols feel safe.
“On Wednesday, following a racist video and photo surfacing on social media, Athletics made the decision not to allow a prospective student to join the Spirit Program. She will not be attending university this fall.
“Anytime the university receives a report, it is reviewed. Any reports relating to current students will go through existing bias reporting processes. We review and address issues as they come up with the individuals involved.”
The university has a Bias Education and Referral Team to help students on how to handle a bias incident, a University of Tennessee spokesperson said. Students can report incidents through an online form and through the LiveSafe mobile app.
Team members review incident reports and meet with affected students.
Members of the Bias Education and Referral Team also help develop a plan within with the broader community and make referrals to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, Office of Equity and Diversity, or the University of Tennessee Police Department if the incident appears to violate university policy or state or federal law, the university spokesperson said.
The Student Code of Conduct may apply to students off-campus, depending on the circumstances, particularly in Section 2.1 of the Code of Conduct, he added.
This is a developing story and we’ll continue to update the details as they become available.