UWO campus responds to racial remarks during OSA elections

Calvin Skalet, Editor in Chief

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A now-former member of Oshkosh College Republicans used derogatory language on Snapchat toward two OSA candidates, causing OSA and other university organizations to denounce the actions and encourage inclusion.

The Snap, which was taken on Tuesday afternoon, shows an image of what appears to be two white male candidates for the current 2019 OSA election race with a caption that says, “UWO Vote for these guys today unless you want a lesbian or a hmong to win.”

That same night, Oshkosh College Republicans responded to the situation with a Facebook post that said, “As conservatives, we strongly stand against racism, sexism, homophobia, and all other forms of discrimination.”

The group confirmed that the member was removed from the organization permanently and said they support any consequence given to this student.

“Oshkosh College Republicans have zero tolerance for racism, bigotry and other forms of discrimination, we have removed the individual from our club and are in full support of him facing the greatest consequence.”

Dr. Sylvia Carey-Butler responded with an email late Tuesday night expressing her disappointment with the situation.

“On Tuesday night, we were reminded that despite efforts to create an inclusive environment, racism and homophobia exists on our campus,” Carey-Butler said. “The comments made on Facebook regarding our upcoming OSA elections underscores why each one of us has a responsibility to call out such divisive language when we hear and see it. UW Oshkosh’s core values do not align with hateful acts or speech.”

In an email sent to students on Tuesday, Executive Director for Campus Life Jean Kwaterski said such actions will not be tolerated by OSA and its candidates for office.

“Today, we want to acknowledge the homophobic and racist statement that was made referring to the current OSA campaign,” Kwaterski said. “All slates – Alina and Pa Houa, Alicia and Hannah, and Jacob and Ian will not enable this behavior. We all stand together in being an inclusive, accepting and welcoming University.”

In the same email, the candidates joined together in a statement regarding the incident. The candidates said OSA does not condone any type of discrimination.

“We (as all slates) believe the best way to fight bigotry is through education as we all continue to grow together and embrace each of our differences positively. No campaign condones racism, homophobia, xenophobia, transphobia, or any other forms of discrimination. We are attending a University to learn, not to exclude. We all commit to standing together today to acknowledge that our campus has racism and homophobia among many other issues. Together, we will all equally commit to furthering every students’ knowledge about those who differ from them and be excited about embracing this change.”