By: Gabriel Donahue, Deputy News Editor
In response to the leaked messages showing members of the Towson University chapter of Turning Point USA using homophobic slurs and racially charged language, the Student Government Association announced plans to relaunch their anti-hate campaign #NotAtTU at their general assembly meeting on Tuesday.
The SGA’s Diversity and Inclusion department will use the #NotAtTU campaign to teach students how to report bias incidents and promote Towson’s anti-hate values, SGA President Jordan Colquitt said.
The SGA will hold a #NotAtTU panel in collaboration with the Center for Student Diversity on Nov. 14. Attendees will be able to ask questions and speak directly to CSD staff regarding any issues.
In addition to the #NotAtTU relaunch, Colquitt also said the SGA will integrate mandatory diversity and inclusion training for student organizations that will receive funding from the organization.
The campaign relaunch follows homophobic, racist and ableist messages that were leaked from TU’s Turning Point USA chapter group chat. As The Towerlight reported, screenshots of the chat showed chapter members using homophobic slurs and making racially charged comments, including admitting to using the n-word.
The SGA held a listening session with the Division of Students Affairs Friday, where students expressed dissatisfaction with the university’s lack of action in response to the leaked messages.
During the event, Patricia Bradley, the vice president for Inclusion and Institutional Equity, said due to First Amendment rights and the lack of threats made within the chat, the group did not break any university policy.
“Bigoted, homophobic, racist assholes exist on our campus,” Bradley said. “And guess what, those bigoted, racist, homophobic assholes have constitutional protections.”
In regards to the chat, the SGA is also unable to take direct action.
“We share your concerns but the SGA is NOT an investigatory body, we as students cannot investigate other students for matters of conduct,” Colquitt wrote in a comment under an Instagram statement posted by SGA.
The chapter does not currently receive funding from the SGA. According to Treasurer Mayra Corea, a violation of their financial policy is the only premise on which the SGA could take action.
TU will investigate all hate crimes or bias-motivated incidents if reported using the Hate Crimes and Bias Incident Report Form, the Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity says on their Hate & Bias Prevention Support & Education page.
Reports can be filed against students or employees.