Auburn University officials issued a statement that claims that the group message in which members listed racial slurs for white people on a Google Doc is not associated with the Black Student Union (BSU) or the university, as the whistleblower who leaked the information claimed.
The whistleblower sent the document and screenshots of the group message on the GroupMe messaging app to Auburn student Jaden Heard, who leaked the information to Turning Point USA (TPUSA), a conservative campus organization. TPUSA published a short article about the findings on its website last week.
1819 News spoke to Heard on Thursday morning. Heard said he’s not the whistleblower himself, but rather the whistleblower came to him about the information. The whistleblower chose to remain anonymous.
The document, titled “Creaker Names,” contained seven pages of a single-column list of racial slurs. 1819 News obtained a copy of the document from Heard. According to Urban Dictionary, “Creaker” is another word for “cracker,” used particularly when referring to an old white man.
Though the group message is titled “AU Connect: Brought to you by The Throwdown” and contains an Auburn logo, as seen on the screenshots obtained by 1819 News, the university said that the group “includes hundreds of people from multiple universities.”
“These comments did not occur on the Black Student Union GroupMe nor as part of any recognized Auburn University organization channel,” the statement read. “An investigation is underway in the university’s Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Employment, which adjudicates reports of harassment and discrimination. The university takes these matters very seriously, and the alleged behavior does not represent the values of Auburn University. The university prohibits harassment of its students and employees as outlined in our Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment.”
Heard told 1819 News last week that the chat in question contained BSU alums and members and included members of the BSU executive committee. Further, he claimed that the whistleblower said the chat had either been deleted or he had been kicked out since the Google Doc was leaked.
In an email to 1819 News, a university spokeswoman said that the updated statement, which differed from the updated statement reported initially by TPUSA last week, was released on February 6. However, when asked to whom the statement was issued, the university did not respond.
1819 News could not find any prior publication of the updated statement. When we originally contacted the Auburn University Office of Student Involvement last week, the office declined to comment.
After receiving the updated statement Monday morning, 1819 News followed up with the university about whether or not they knew why so many students from other universities were in a group message labeled “AU Connect” and asked university officials to clarify Auburn’s policy concerning statements made by students in a private group message.
As of 2 p.m. on Monday, February 13, university officials are yet to respond.
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