NORMAN, Okla. – Monday, University of Oklahoma President Jim Gallogly held a press conference outlining the university’s next step after a viral video surfaced of two students, one in blackface, using a racial slur.
Gallogly announced the two women withdrew from the university. He added they were surprised by the widespread backlash and regret their actions.
Students applaud the president’s language, saying it was bolder than the statement released Friday – many expressing gratitude and relief that Gallogly explicitly called the video racist.
During Gallogly’s speech, he reiterated a promise made by administrators Friday, in the immediate response to the video.
“They’ve issued a written apology,” Gallogly said. “I think it’s already been issued.”
Since Friday, students said they want more than an apology; but, by Monday night, no one has reported ever seeing said apology.
The university and countless other organizations connected to the controversy released statements.
But, the one thing News 4 hasn’t seen is the apology. We reached out to multiple university offices, but we still haven’t seen it.
Apparently, we’re not the only ones. Student government leaders confirm they haven’t received it, neither has the Black Student Association (BSA).
“At this time, no one that we know of has heard or seen an apology from the two students in the video,” said Shelbie Walker, vice president of OU’s BSA.
BSA President Taylor Wilson said the girls no longer being Sooners is bittersweet and she wonders if the former students learned their lesson, even if they ever receive the apology they were promised.
“An apology is not enough,” Wilson said. “Yes, we get that the students are no longer a part of the university. But, the fact that they can just withdraw, and it’s over – that’s unacceptable.”
Gallogly mentioned a listening session he attended Sunday. There, he said he heard from a number of student leaders, student athletes and others who wanted to discuss the controversy.
Gallogly said he wants to continue the dialogue and regularly work with the organizations to create a more inclusive university environment.
Wilson and Walker said they fully intend to participate in these ongoing conversations. In fact, BSA released a list of demands to the administration they expect to see executed.
When asked what the list entailed, Wilson said “A zero tolerance policy in our code of conduct concerning hate speech, financial support for multicultural student programs and more multicultural faculty and staff, especially in places of higher administration.”
Tuesday, there is an End Racism rally planned on campus. Multiple student organizations and Gallogly are expected to participate.