SHU students respond to racist video on social media

The Seton Hall community reacted to a video that was posted to a student’s personal Instagram account this past weekend that ended with the use of a racial slur to refer to Asian people.

In the video, two girls are shown, one standing slightly to the right and her face is out of view. Then, the girls proceed to use the popular Instagram story filter, “Which Disney are you?” which determines what Disney character the person using the filter would be. The filter stops on the Disney character, Mulan, a Chinese warrior, and the word [slur] is heard in response to the image. The girl to the right of the video appears to be the one saying the word.

On Jan. 5, Rishi Shah, president of the Student Government Association (SGA) posted the video, along with a photo of the girl with her friends, on his personal Twitter account with the caption, “What we’re not gonna do in 2020 is let this behavior slide. @SetonHall.” The video also identifies the girl and the sorority she is a member of, the Alpha Phi chapter at Seton Hall.

The tweet quickly gained steam, with hundreds of people liking it and several retweeting it. Some Seton Hall students also tweeted about their displeasure with the video.

One student, who goes by the username @ashleenhyun said, “Saw some white girls using the which Disney are you filter n got Mulan going [slur] [expletive] if you don’t stfu that is China’s greatest warrior,” and then attached a photo of herself with her family. Another student, Alyssa Futa, tweeted saying, “This [slur] also doesn’t think this is acceptable.”

It is worth noting, that Shah’s tweet has since been deleted.

Both the official Seton Hall University and Alpha Phi International Twitter accounts tweeted in response to Shah’s tweet stating that they are aware of the situation and are investigating further.

Laurie Pine, director of media relations at Seton Hall, sent a statement to The Setonian regarding the incident: “Seton Hall University is committed to providing a safe learning, living and working environment for our students to grow and flourish. Seton Hall takes complaints of this nature very seriously and is currently conducting a thorough investigation.”

Nicole Stephens, the president of the Alpha Phi chapter at Seton Hall, said that the situation is being handled internally.

“The actions of one person do not reflect an entire organization,” she said in an email to The Setonian. “We as an organization, have never and will never support the use of racist or derogatory language. We hold our members to high standards, which includes respecting and accepting all individuals.”

In a phone call with The Setonian, the girl in the video who appears to use the slur, said that she has no comment other than denying that it is her saying it.

Isabel Soisson can be reached at isabel.soisson@student.shu.edu. Find her on Twitter @IsabelSoisson.

Author: Isabel Soisson

Isabel Soisson is a journalism major and political science minor from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of The Setonian, in addition to interning at NBC News. She also studied voice for 6+ years and still continues to on the side.

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