On Sept. 27, VSU communications professor Dr. Fred Earls stirred up controversy during one of his lectures.
In the lecture, Dr. Earls wrote the n-word on a whiteboard as part of a lecture on how language changes depending on who uses it.
While we are not aware of action taken against the professor, one thing remains clear: This incident should have never happened.
We at The Spectator believe that Dr. Earls should have stayed away from using an offensive example, especially one such as a slur, in the class.
Furthermore, if the lesson called for him to give an offensive example, Dr. Earls should have given a proper warning to the class before ever writing the word up on the board.
Dr. Michael Schmidt, Dean of the College of the Arts, visited the class to discuss the matter with the class.
Along with his meeting with the class, Dr. Schmidt stated that Dr. Earls was under investigation.
However, nearly a month has passed and there has yet to have been anything said one way or the other. In fact, VSU administration has been radio silent on the whole controversy. The university has offered no evidence that an investigation is even ongoing.
We believe that the university should offer more transparency with the student body on important matters such as investigations.
Having a stable line of communication with the student body ensures that everyone is properly informed on what the administration is doing.
Even if it doesn’t result in the decision students want to see, giving updates on investigations while they’re ongoing would better serve campus community at large. Any form of communication is better than no communication at all.
As for Dr. Earls, The Spectator doesn’t believe he should outright lose his job over this incident alone. Instead, he should be closely monitored so that a similar incident doesn’t happen in the future.
We also believe that Dr. Earls should be required to take some form of sensitivity training to further prevent this from happening again.
This editorial reflects the general opinion of The Spectator staff.