A former Student Government Association (SGA) president is under fire for her repeated use of the n-word on Twitter and Instagram while she was a student at Seton Hall University.
Former president of SGA, Teagan Sebba (’17), who until Wednesday evening served as President of the Student Bar Association (SBA) at the Washington College of Law at American University, confirmed the validity of the posts and apologized in a statement posted to her Instagram account on April 8.
“I am disgusted that I ever posted this, thought it was okay to post this and am deeply ashamed,” Sebba said in the statement. “This is not who I am today or who I would ever hope to be in the future.”
The SBA confirmed in a statement Thursday that Sebba had resigned her role as president of the organization on Wednesday night in response to growing calls by student organizations for her to be ousted.
Several groups from the Washington College of Law called for Sebba to resign, including the Black Law Student Association, The Equal Justice Foundation, The Alternative Dispute Resolution Honors Society and all five of American University’s legal journals.
“Last night, SBA President Teagan Sebba’s racist social media posts resurfaced. These posts fetishized Black men and lesbian women, mimicked black ‘vernacular,’ and liberally and consistently used the n-word,” The Black Law Student Association said in a statement posted to Instagram on April 8 calling for Sebba to step down. “Ms. Sebba’s decision to ask for the support of black voters last year is fraudulent in light of her disrespect to the black community.”
In a statement sent out to Washington College of Law students, dean of the school Camille Nelson condemned Sebba’s posts calling them “abhorrent” and “contrary to our community values and the pursuit of inclusive excellence at American University Washington College of Law.”
“From the information that we have gathered thus far, the bulk of the posts involve racist and derogatory language directed toward African-Americans and persons of Asian descent,” Nelson said. “The administration is taking steps to speak with the parties involved and to evaluate what further actions are appropriate.”
Posts from her SBA presidential campaign account showed that prior to serving as president of the SBA, Sebba was as a member of the senate for her first two years of law school, representing her class of law school students.
Sebba served two terms as the president of the SGA during her time at Seton Hall. The posts, which screenshots shared to Twitter show dated as far back as 2012, contain numerous instances of Sebba using the derogatory slur, with several showing that they were sent while she was a student at Seton Hall in 2013 and 2014.
In response to the comments, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Karen Van Norman said that the University was not aware of the comments up until this point.
“Seton Hall University is committed to providing a safe learning, living and working environment for our students to grow and flourish,” Van Norman said. “The comments do not reflect the values we hold, and who we are as a University community, then and now.”
Seton Hall’s recently elected SGA Executive Committee, led by President Julia Nicolls who occupies the seat Sebba once held, also put out a statement condemning the comments of Sebba on April 11, calling Sebba’s remarks “harmful, insensitive, and racist.”
“The Executive Committee of the Student Government Association is deeply disturbed by the actions and the language from one of our alumni and colleagues,” The statement read. “Members of this organization are expected to be active advocated for supporting a diverse and inclusive community across campus throughout their career and beyond as they continue as global citizens.”
According to a 2016 profile of Sebba in The Setonian, both before and during her time at Seton Hall Sebba was active in Democratic circles, volunteering with the 2008 and 2012 campaigns for President Barack Obama as well as the 2016 campaign for Hillary Clinton.
As of press time, Sebba has not responded to The Setonian’s request for comment.
Nicholas Kerr can be reached at email@example.com. Find him on Twitter @NickKerr99.
This story was updated to contain a statement released by the Seton Hall Student Government Association’s Executive Committee on April 11.
This story was updated to include screenshots of additional comments discovered by The Setonian.