UoY investigating York student who told black student radio presenter ‘I can say n***a’

The messages were originally sent in anonymously while the student was live on air


The University of York have launched an investigation into the racist messages sent by York undergrad, Rafel Spilman, to a fellow York student.

UoY told The Tab any student found to be in breach of the university's code of conduct could face disciplinary measures and possible police action.

The third year Philosophy student sent racist messages to fellow York student, Amara Barrett Willett, whilst she was presenting her radio show on University Radio York (URY).

Amara had posted a Facebook status where she had used the world 'hola' and Rafel used the URY messaging system – meant for students to give requests and shoutouts – to send her the anonymous message: "If you can say hola I can say n***a".

Rafel then commented on the Facebook status itself, calling her a "bigot" and, upon her request that he discuss his issue with her in person, said: "Sorry I actually have work to do maybe another time my n***a". Rafel later edited this comment, changing n***a to "fellow beautiful black believer".

Image may contain: Text

These comments were made before they were edited

Rafel Spilman told The Tab: "It's just a small way of defending free speech from the safety of my university i suppose."

The YUSU BME Officers, Nayomi Karthigesu and Hannah Joseph- Asikhia, told The Tab: "Obviously we do not condone this kind of behaviour, and find it disgusting but not surprising that this has occurred.

"There have been several incidents similar to Amara’s occurring at this university.

A University of York spokesperson told The Tab: “The University is aware of the incident and an investigation is taking place.

“The University does not tolerate any form of racism. Any student who is found to have breached the University’s code of conduct will face disciplinary measures and possible police action.

"The University celebrates and values diversity. The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy sets out how the University is creating a positive environment which is fair, welcoming and inclusive.”

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