SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — Earlier this month, Bryant University senior Quinton Law said he had a racial slur yelled at him on campus.
“It was another student, a fellow student on campus. Someone that is part of our Bryant community,” he said Thursday.
Law posted about the incident on Facebook and said he received a great deal of support, but not from the Bryant administration.
“I was asked by one administrator directly to take down my Facebook post and it was suggested by another administrator to take down the Facebook post,” he recalled.
In a statement Thursday, Bryant Public Relations Director Cecilia Cooper confirmed that a student “stated a racial epithet in a public setting” on Feb. 3 and said the university immediately launched an investigation.
“The Bryant University Bias Incident Committee reviewed the results of the investigation and concluded that a bias incident had occurred,” Cooper wrote.
“Bryant University strongly condemns any form of bigotry or insensitivity toward others, and the language used was offensive and wrong,” she continued. “These behaviors do not represent our values, our culture, or how we expect Bryant students will conduct themselves.”
Law, who’s on the Bryant football team and involved in a number of other organizations on campus, including the Multicultural Student Union, said the student in question has since apologized to him in private.
“I do ask her to spend more time learning more about black history,” Law said. “Perhaps come to a Back History Month event like we initially agreed and try to, you know, spend more time around people of color on campus and really get to know how much that word hurts people.”
Despite the apology, it was clear to Law that a community conversation still needed to happen.
With Law’s help, the school’s Student Affairs Division is organizing an educational event on the history and use of the racist word.
“A lot of people are uncomfortable talking about race, so I think the only way to change that is to have that conversation,” Law added.
The event is expected to be held in the next few weeks.