Two Computer Science students at the University of Sheffield have been forced to apologise after they posted ‘racist’ images on a group chat. The controversy, which dates back to October, concerns two pictures shared via a social media group chat – for the Computer Science degree. It is believed the two students faced expulsion over the controversy, though having apologised, the pair will proceed with their studies. It appears the students showcased poor judgement, yet didn’t have racist intentions. Read on for the full story.
The controversy surrounds two images. The first image is a meme (which UniEel has chosen not to publish), mockingly comparing the promotional poster for the film ‘The Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ to a poster from the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign. The follow-up image, from the second student, centres on ‘Snigger the Monkey’ – a character from a child’s book. The images caused shock among course-mates, and outrage in the wider University community.
A student at the University posted screenshots of the chat on Twitter, where the controversy gained momentum. The University subsequently investigated, which involved one student having a meeting with the Head of the Computer Science department. The duo faced expulsion, however after making full apologies, the matter appears to be considered closed. A statement from the University said that the ‘students had shown remorse and accepted responsibility for their actions’.
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This was an unfortunate case. It doesn’t appear that the two individuals involved had any intentions of causing offence, though it is clear from the reaction of the Sheffield University community on social media that many have been offended by the image. However the two have shown remorse, and the University consider the matter to be closed. Sheffield boasts a strong international community, and fortunately, cases like this are rare.