A group of student protestors marched across Georgia Southern’s campus and some engaged in a “sit-in” at the swim team’s first meet in response to a text message containing the N-word sent by a team member over the summer.
In July, a Twitter user published screenshots of text messages between two students, one white and the other black. The conversation suggested the two would be roommates. The white student was identified in the tweet as Courtney Schaefer, a senior on Georgia Southern’s swim team. The screenshot shows Schaefer sending a message containing the racially-charged N-word, immediately after claiming she meant to send the message to someone else and that auto-correct changed the word “triggerish” into the racial slur. You can see the full screenshot below:
Do y’all believe this?? Triggerish isn’t even a word, why would it autocorrect to this terrible word? I hope Nwamaka doesn’t have to room with this horrible individual. #courtneyschaefer pic.twitter.com/D8svEYIB2i
— Cherita Is Random (@cheritaisrandom) July 20, 2018
The George-Anne, Georgia Southern’s student newspaper, reports that the protest took place on Friday, the date of Georgia Southern’s first home swim meet of the season, against UNC Asheville. The report says students marched, chanted and carried signs, starting at the student union and ending at the school’s aquatic center. The protesters continued to chant outside the building while the swim meet happened, then concluded with a 30-second moment of silence. After that, some protesters sat in at the swim meet. The student newspaper said it could only get comment from one spectator, a mother of a swimmer who said the sit-in was “very peaceful.”
Protesters quoted in the student newspaper said they believed Schaefer should have been punished more harshly, even perhaps kicked off the swim team:
“I definitely, 100 percent, think she should have been kicked off the team. I feel like there should have been some form of punishment, and there wasn’t, and I think that’s a lot of the reason why a lot of people are angry,” student Megan Siefert said in the story.