Faramade Ifaturoti (left), 19, a first-year biomedical sciences student at the University of Warwick, posted a photograph of the racist slurs online (right) after allegedly finding them in her kitchen. The 19-year-old from Colchester, Essex, is now being comforted by her friends and family after she was left ‘incredibly shaken and shocked’ by her discovery on Monday night. The university has launched an investigation following her tweet (centre), in which she said she was ‘extremely disgusted’ by the incident. And Miss Ifaturoti has since said that she felt ‘targeted’, adding:
‘This is not the first time something like this has happened.’
There is no evidence that any of her flatmates were involved. Her friend Jere Agbaje, 19, a law and sociology student at Warwick, told the Independent: ‘She unpacked and stored her shopping, whilst four of her flatmates were in the kitchen.
‘When she came into the kitchen, to her horror, those shocking racial slurs and dehumanising remarks were branded on her bananas.
‘I have been in contact with Fara, and she is incredibly shaken and shocked. She is currently being comforted by her friends and family. This is been an incredibly distressing ordeal for her.’
A friend of Miss Ifaturoti said a photo of US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was also found on the fridge in her accommodation near the racist note. The university’s handling of the incident has been criticised by Mems Ayinla, co-president of Warwick Anti-Racism Society, who said it was not given enough urgency. She told the Huffington Post UK:
‘As a black student, I don’t feel safe in some of my spaces and we need to make sure there is a zero-tolerance of all types of incidents like this. The hashtag (#WeStandWithFara) is bringing other students in to share their experiences and it gives them support not just from Warwick, but other universities too.’
And Miss Ifaturoti was also unimpressed, tweeting:
‘I’m highly disappointed it took a Twitter escalation in order for you to respond.’
But a university spokesman said:
‘We are aware that a racist incident has been widely reported on social media – the university is investigating this as a matter of urgency. We first became aware as we were alerted by somebody who works with social media at the university.’
‘A senior officer is on the case to look into the concerns, and has spoken to the student. We treat each incident or event – depending on what it is – seriously. Our concentration right now is on this case.’
A Warwick Student Union spokesman added:
‘Warwick SU has a zero-tolerance policy on racist behaviour. We unequivocally condemn this shocking and disgusting act, which should clearly have no place in either our university or society at large.
‘We have reached out to the student affected by this episode and have contacted the university to offer further support. Should a formal complaint be raised regarding a specific individual’s conduct, the SU will of course treat it as a matter for urgent disciplinary action.’
And spokesman for the university’s African and Caribbean Society said:
‘We will support all liberation societies and the student union in applying pressure to the university to administer adequate punishment to the culprit. We will not rest until the incident is dealt with appropriately.
What a shame!