At least three different New Jersey universities are investigating a now-viral video in which students are heard repeating a racial slur.
According to BuzzFeed News, the probes were launched in recent days after Monmouth sophomore Scharina Bencosme shared the video on social media. The footage, which was captured on Snapchat, shows a group of young men and women in a circle, taking turns using the n-word.
Bencosme told BuzzFeed the video was brought to her attention earlier this week, and decided to post the clip after recognizing one of the men. Her post has received more than 2,350 retweets over the last several days.
Shortly after, the student whom Bencosme recognized was eventually identified as a Monmouth student. Morganne Dudzinski, a spokesperson for the university, told BuzzFeed that school officials immediately contacted the unidentified student after becoming aware of the video. She also said the individual "is no longer enrolled," but did not confirm if there was an expulsion.
"The university has received numerous reports of a video being shared on social media that depicts a member of our campus community using a racial slur that is both disrespectful and deeply offensive to me and our entire community," Monmouth University President Grey J. Dimenna wrote in a letter to the campus community. "While this video lacks context, it is abundantly clear that as a university that strives to be inclusive and respectful, we cannot allow these actions to go unchecked."
Dimenna said the school is now looking into the matter and will "take approprate action to safeguard the integrity of our core values."
Bencosme said she and other students weren't satisfied with the school's response.
"We're upset our university hasn't really addressed the issue—or we believe it wasn't addressed properly," she told BuzzFeed. "The email that was sent out ... [said] the video lacked context, which is the reason why we're so upset. In what context would it be OK or be excused, this racist behavior?"
The other students in the video allegedly attend different colleges in New Jersey, including Rutgers University, Rowan University, and New Jersey Institute of Technology. Nancy Cantor, the chancellor of Rutgers, sent out a letter confirming an investigation had been launched and that the school would not tolerate "not tolerate hate speech or hateful behavior in any form."
Rowan University President Ali Houshmand said it was unclear if any of the students featured in the video attended the school, but reassured the campus community "that this type of language and disrespect have no place among us and will not be tolerated."
Jose Cardona, Rowan's vice president of university relations, told BuzzFeed the investigation into the matter is ongoing.
"We are still trying to verify the name of the individual described as being a Rowan student," he said. "While the language used and students’ actions are deeply offensive, free speech is an issue in this case. Rowan, like all universities, have a student code of conduct that speaks to on- and off-campus behavior. Our investigation into the matter can continue once we have a conversation with the individual."