Haters Gonna Hate
But OSU students rise up to squach racist tweets
By Alexis Shaw, Justin McIntoshPosted Sep 5, 2012
The term ‘hater’ is often overused these days, but last week OSU students were reminded just how impactful one’s ‘hate’ can be when directed toward others, even if it simply occurs on a social network site like Twitter.
The issue, as many are aware by now, arose after the creation of the Tumblr “OSU Haters,” a blog that seeks to expose racist tweets by OSU students.
In the days since, nearly every major news outlet in Columbus, from 10TV News to The Columbus Dispatch, has picked up on the story, and some OSU students aren’t exactly thrilled about the coverage.
"I think ‘OSU Haters’ should be shut down,” said Zach Kelley, a junior studying health sciences. “I agree the hate language used by some students is unacceptable, but the method being used to raise awareness is absurd. How can you stop hate by promoting it? Also, we are a free speech campus. While we may not agree with what they are saying, we must respect their rights.”
Others, like Sara Montgomery, a junior studying communications, wished for a certain amount of privacy for the offending parties.
"If you're going to call people out for saying disrespectful things, at least take their names out of it,” she said. “The whole point is to teach a lesson not embarrass people."
The issue and coverage, though, is not going away anytime soon.
Javaune Adams-Gaston, vice president for student life, said in an emailed response to UWeekly that she was disappointed to see racist tweets coming from a few students.
“I know these views do not reflect the opinions of the vast majority of our students, but we cannot allow the hateful messages from a few misguided people to tarnish our entire community,” she said. “There is no place for hate at Ohio State, but there is room for inclusion, respect, and diversity. Our interactions need to be positive, welcoming, and respectful of all, whether they occur in person, online, or in the stands of a sporting event.”
President Gordon Gee tweeted his own disapproval of the racist tweets, saying he was “Appalled to see racist tweets by OSU students. We are better than that.”
Several campus groups, including The Multicultural Greek Council, The Multicultural Center, GradPAC and the Asian American Association, set up a town hall meeting for Tuesday night (after press time). The meeting was to be held at the Multicultural Center in the Ohio Union. As of press time, more than 380 people said they were attending through a Facebook event.
Also since the coverage began, the “OSU Haters” blog posted a response from one of the so-called ‘haters,’ which said in part that the offender was contacted by the university and had a hold placed on his or her account.
“I was informed that I could be kicked out of Ohio State permanently with an official note being put on any other school I applied to about my comments.”
The ‘former hater’ said he or she was going to attend regular counseling about hate speech, safe ways to vent his or her frustration and the newly formed anxiety he or she had about the incident.
OSU junior Brittany Woods said she didn’t think the people shown on the site are actually racist.
"I think they're just saying those things because they're ignorant and aren't educated on different cultures,” she said.
Attempts to interview the person(s) behind the Twitter account @OSU_Asians and the Tumblr “OSU Haters” were not successful.