Anonymous racist posts have littered Ed Discussion’s discussion board for Statistical Methods and Applications (STAT 22000) at the University of Chicago, and the seeming lack of consequences for the perpetrator(s) has some students on edge.
The anonymous messager(s) allegedly used Google Translate to write a series of Chinese characters followed by a block of broken English text. The fragmented language, which seems to imitate a Chinese accent in a mocking manner, appears to be an attack on the teaching assistants for the course—some of whom are Chinese international students who speak English as a second language.
An assistant instructional professor for STAT 22000 issued students a warning implying that the offender(s) would be neither reprimanded nor punished unless they post another message of this nature:
Several members of the university community want more to be done. A student in the class expressed to the Chicago Thinker that “the behavior is extremely disrespectful, and I believe the student(s) should face more severe consequences.” Moreover, a group of Chinese students familiar with the situation intimated that the lack of action is an act of blatant disrespect toward the Chinese community at the university.
Under the university’s Discrimination and Discriminatory Harassment guidelines, “such expression will not constitute harassment unless it is targeted at a specific person or persons, is abusive, and serves no bona fide academic purpose.”
On February 13, the professor for the class issued a statement sharing that she filed a report with the university. As of the time of this update, the university has not publicly addressed the incident.
The Chicago Thinker has reached out to UChicago for comment and has not yet received a response. This article will be updated as new developments arise.
* This article has been modified to more aptly reflect the organizational chart of STAT 22000.
Kevin Lam is the Chicago Thinker's Chief Financial Officer, in addition to being a Staff Writer and Photographer. As a junior at the University of Chicago, he plans to major in Economics and Statistics. Outside of coursework, Kevin likes to follow disc golf, music, and the UFC.