BLOOMSBURG, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A video posted on social media is now at the center of concerns over race relations at Bloomsburg University. In it, a student worker acted out a slave auction. He has since been fired, but some students at Bloomsburg University that Eyewitness News Reporter Revathi Janaswamy talked to say they’re still disturbed.
“It’s not okay to use the N-word at all. It’s not okay to use any racial slur. I wouldn’t understand why would you think that’s okay to use that word,” junior Deja Fogg said.
University officials say the video, seen in a tweet, was of Brett Rebuck at a party, who worked in the university’s athletic training office. In the video, Rebuck says the N-word three times, while an African-American partygoer is standing by him. When someone in the crowd asked what he was doing, Rebuck responded “… we’re selling (N-word)”.
Tom McGuire, director of communications at Bloomsburg University, says the whole thing is abhorrent to the university community and to society as a whole.
“We’re sickened by them and the campus is sickened by them. Our students know that they don’t represent the values of our university, like I said, in any way shape or form,” McGuire said.
“I was honestly shocked and I had a lot of friends posting on his stories saying he should be fired,” sophomore Jes Luecke said. “For someone who is under the Bloomsburg name to be using that slur… it’s… it’s ridiculous.”
Students say they are glad that Rebuck was fired. Fogg says the video was especially shocking because Rebuck worked with a lot of African-American students as part of his job.
“He works with us. And so for him to think that it’s okay to use the N-word and then make an excuse like I’m drunk, or his friends saying he was playing, that’s not funny at all. I don’t take that as a joke,” Fogg said.
“Stuff like that you shouldn’t really be playing around with,” sophomore Brian Carr. “You shouldn’t take it as a joke, ’cause you never know who you might hurt.”
Fogg says Bloomsburg University also has to do better to bring awareness to racism.
“Make it more comfortable because a lot of us African-American students are uncomfortable here, to be honest. Feel like just make it more comfortable for us. You know we try to come to them about our problems, they kind of push it to the back. A lot of us feel segregated, even though we shouldn’t because this is 2019,” Fogg said.
Some are standing by Rebuck on social media, saying everyone seen in the video are long-time friends. Rebuck will face a student code of conduct hearing, but because of privacy laws, the outcome of it will remain confidential.