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OU President Addresses Homophobic Slurs Used During Campus Event

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

Students at the University of Oklahoma are being accused of using hateful speech at a school event Friday evening in Norman.  

At a campus sponsored event in the OU student union, students performed a rap battle.  During that performance, several rappers are accused of using homophobic slurs and sexual violent phrases. 

News9 has been told the student-led group who sponsored the event has apologized on Facebook.   

OU President David Boren issued a statement: 

“Those involved have apologized. They were right to apologize because the university should be a place where every person is treated with respect. The university is striving to create an inclusive community, this cannot be done by administrators alone. I urge our students to speak out against intolerance and disrespect for others. Strong student voices for mutual respect are the most effective way to create a true sense of community. I personally condemn the use of slurs which wound others and urge students to join me. I have asked our Vice President of Student Affairs to look into the situation to try to assure that such matters do not occur in the future.”

I spoke with a student in the audience who described her reaction as disgusted and disappointed.  This event follows in the wake of the SAE scandal earlier this year.

3/27/15 Related Story: OU President Boren Announces Findings Of SAE Racist Chant Investigation
 
Troy Stevenson, the executive director of Freedom Oklahoma had this to say about the incident:

"Bias and intimidation should not be tolerated in any academic setting, especially at our state's flagship university.  The campus community has made it clear that these incidents are not simply the isolated actions of a few bad actors.  OU has a systemic climate and culture of allowing harassment without intervention."

Spokesperson for Queer Inclusion on Campus, Alex Ruggiers also issued a statement:

“As an LGBTQ student, I am saddened and angered by the events of Friday night. Without an environment that condones or encourages bias, such an incident might not have occurred. It is the responsibility of the university to address this problem on a campus-wide level.”

OU student Lena Tenney had this to say about the incident:

“Unfortunately, I was unsurprised to learn about the incidents at the university-sanctioned event on Friday night because these types of biased actions occur on OU’s campus fairly frequently.  Personally, I have experienced a significant amount of harassment during my time as an OU student—including feeling.”

The campus newspaper also reports the rappers involved have apologized on Facebook for their actions.

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