A student at Warwick University appears to have been the victim of racial abuse from a flatmate or guest to her halls of residence prompting the university to launch an investigation.
Faramade Ifaturoti, a first year biomedical sciences student according to her Twitter bio, tweeted a photo yesterday of a bunch of bananas with two racial slurs scrawled in marker pen on them. “Just entered the kitchen and look at what one of my flatmates has done. I am extremely disgusted” she posted on her now-private Twitter account.
The post went viral very quickly, gaining thousands of retweets. An hour after posting the photo, the university responded, tweeting: “we’re really sorry you’ve had to experience this, it is completely unacceptable – please DM us your email + we will escalate”.
Many, including Ifaturoti herself, have criticised Warwick for failing to react quicker. She tweeted “I’m highly disappointed that it took a Twitter escalation in order for you to respond.”
Warwick Students’ Union released this statement regarding the incident: “Warwick SU has a zero-tolerance policy on racist behaviour. We unequivocally condemn this shocking and disgusting act, which should clearly have no place in either our University or society at large.
“We have reached out to the student affected by this episode and have contacted the University to offer further support. Should a formal complaint be raised regarding a specific individual’s conduct, the SU will of course treat it as a matter for urgent disciplinary action.”
Warwick’s student newspaper, The Boar, broke the news of the abuse. The Warwick Anti-Racism Society, who are also offering the student support, told The Boar: “The Warwick Accomodation handbook has absolutely nothing regarding racism, yet the institution will happily shout about diversity and champion signing the Race Equality Charter.”
A university spokesperson told The Independent: “We are aware that a racist incident has been widely reported on social media. The university is investigating this as a matter of urgency.”
By Tuesday night, the hashtag #WeStandWithFara was a top trend in the United Kingdom to express support and solidarity with the student.
Since this incident, a number of student newspapers from across the country have come together to find out more about the extent of racism on UK campuses. Please fill in this survey if you are a University of Manchester student.