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Stellenbosch University students angry after residence head utters k-word

05 February 2022 - 09:19
A Stellenbosch University residence head's use of the k-word has ruffled feathers in the student community.
A Stellenbosch University residence head's use of the k-word has ruffled feathers in the student community.
Image: ERHARDT THIEL

Stellenbosch University has launched an investigation after a residence head used the k-word while telling students it was unacceptable.

University spokesperson Martin Viljoen told TimesLIVE the institution’s equality unit had launched a probe.   

Stellenbosch University confirms an incident in a residence in which a residence head used the k-word and the distress it caused among residents,” said Viljoen.

“The university places a very high premium on creating a culture of respect and human dignity among staff and students. As the university is deeply aware of the pain that the use of the word causes, the university views the matter in a serious light.”

However, Viljoen said the institution understands the residence head used the word as an example of what is not acceptable.

While the use of the word is no doubt unacceptable in our society, the university's understanding at present is that the word was not used as a racial slur, but in a very specific context, namely in a conversation that dealt with what would be unacceptable references and behaviour in student communities,” said Viljoen.   

“The university’s unit for equality has launched an urgent investigation into the matter and has reached out to the staff member involved, as well as any possibly affected students in the community to assist in the preliminary investigation.

“The student community is given a reasonable period of time to provide the equality unit with input before a recommendation on the way forward in this matter is proposed.”

TimesLIVE 


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