National Institute on Aging

Black Women Reportedly Taunted With Racial Slurs at the University of Florida

university-florida-logoA member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at the University of Florida was accused of yelling racial slurs and inappropriate sexual remarks to a Black women student. The member reportedly harassed the woman from the front porch of the fraternity house as she walked past on the opposite side of the street. Several other fraternity members were present but only one member voiced objection to the behavior, according to a university spokesperson.

The fraternity issued a statement apologizing for the incident and said it had suspended the privileges and was reviewing the membership status of the offending member.

Bernie Machen, the president of the University of Florida, wrote a letter to the fraternity which read in part: “We have worked extremely hard to build an inclusive and welcoming environment at the University of Florida, where we value individuals of all colors, ethnicities and backgrounds. I am disappointed and ashamed that members of an organization aimed at creating the leaders of tomorrow exhibited this kind of ignorance, hateful behavior, and complacency.”


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  1. not a gator says:

    Seems like there should be way more than this one incident with University of Florida. These frat boys scream obscenities at females on the sidewalk all over town. I can’t imagine how scary that is when combined with racial slurs. Gainesville is heavily African-American (and has been since the Civil War, when it was known as Hogtown), and is riven by enormous income, educational, and opportunity inequality, plus the legacy of a particularly violent and cruel Jim Crow regime that was still fighting to retain control through the 1970s. In fact, when it comes to criminal justice and farm labor in Florida, Jim Crow never ended.

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