‘There Was No Malice’: Western Kentucky University Defends Decision Not to Punish Sorority Members Shown Using N-Word in Songs

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Western Kentucky University is standing by its decision not to discipline students from two different sororities shown on video using the N-word while singing.

White students WNKY identified as Alpha Xi Delta Sorority members were shown in one video using the racial slur while singing along to rapper Saweetie’s “My Type.”

“That’s my type. N—a, that’s my type,” women were seen shouting in the footage posted on Twitter Aug. 30.

Sorority girls at party
A video shows sorority members at Western Kentucky University saying the N-word while singing along to music. (Screenshot from @Rmsj12 / Twitter)

A Black Twitter user identified as Rose @Rmsj12 posted the video on Twitter with the caption “This DEFINITELY ain’t it.”

A similar incident reported Aug. 20 featured a Chi Omega Sorority member using the racial slur while singing rap duo City Girls’ “Act Up” during a bid day celebration, WNKY reported.

University spokesman Bob Skipper told Atlanta Black Star in an email Wednesday that the university reported the incidents to the sororities’ national organizations.

“The students were singing the lyrics to a popular hip hop song,” Skipper said. “The university determined there was no malice involved and chose to work with the students to help them understand how the usage could be perceived, then reported the incidents to their national organizations.”

He earlier told the Daily News the school discovered one of the videos the day it was posted but took “some time” to ensure the students were from WKU.

When authorities confirmed the students on video did attend WKU, sorority and school officials met to discuss “how the video could be considered offensive.”

“We were using this as an educational tool to let them know that while they might have thought this was funny, some people might not perceive it that way,” Skipper told WNKY. “I don’t think there was any ill intentions in these incidents. Sometimes how we perceive something is not how it’s perceived by others.”

Skipper also told the news outlet that these were isolated incidents.

“This was just an incident with a few students,” he said. “I don’t think it’s indicative of our student population as a whole.”

Alpha Xi Delta echoed that sentiment in a statement it released online Wednesday after investigating the video of its Epsilon Kappa Chapter members.

“We have determined this was an isolated incident, not a chapter event, where a group of our members were singing offensive lyrics to a song,” the sorority said.

“Alpha Xi Delta does not comment on private, individual membership statuses, but we have made it very clear to all of our members, whether that is through disciplinary procedures and/or continued education, that this type of behavior is not part of our organization’s values and principles,” the sorority added.

“We have no further comment about this situation and consider our investigation into this matter to be closed. We will be taking no further action at this time.”

Chi Omega has not yet responded to Atlanta Black Star’s request for comment.

Student Government Association member Symone Taqwa Whalin told the Daily News she and other students decided to protest at a Kappa Delta Chapter “Shenanigans” fundraising event Tuesday because they did not agree with how the university was handling the incident.

She said WKU “chose to use it as a ‘learning opportunity.'”

“But we’re 18, 20, 21 years old, we had enough time to learn,” Whalin said. “If you keep pushing it back as a learning opportunity, it keeps breeding racism. … You know the implications of that word by now, even if it’s in a song.”

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