The video started circulating on social media this week: A group of what appear to be college-age students — possibly from New Jersey schools — looking squarely into the camera and saying the N-word.
By Thursday, several college leaders in the Garden State were condemning the video and investigating whether any participants were students at their schools. (The video opens with a list of Twitter handles, ostensibly identifying the speakers, by university.)
Other colleges referenced at the start of the video are Monmouth University, Rutgers University, and New Jersey Institute of Technology.
The Inquirer is not linking to the video because it could not verify its authenticity or determine whether any of the five young men and three young women quoted in it actually attend local schools. The video includes no information about the location or when it was shot.
But the colleges have launched their own reviews.
Monmouth identified one student from the video and met with the student. “The student is no longer enrolled at the university,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
At Rutgers University, spokesperson Dory Devlin said, “Rutgers is looking into whether students at any of our campuses were involved in a social media video in which a racial slur was used.”
“Immediately upon receiving this information, the Rutgers University-Newark Division of Student Affairs launched an investigation into potential violations of the university’s Code of Student Conduct,” she said. “We absolutely do not tolerate hate speech or hateful behavior in any form among our community members.”
Rowan also has been trying to determine if any of the young men on the video attend Rowan, said spokesperson Joe Cardona, and as of Thursday afternoon had found no evidence that they do. No one has stepped forward to identify a student, he said.
The video, he said, first appeared on social media Tuesday night and was brought to the attention of campus officials by several people the next day.
The video drew strong reaction from off campus, too. “As an alumna of Monmouth, it’s getting really tiring to see the same incidents occur over and over again,” said one woman on Twitter.