March 2019 saw the election of UGA Student Government Association’s first female president since 2011. SGA’s 32nd administration President Rachel Byers led the Empower ticket, running on promises of “bridging the gap” between students and campus resources.
TKE video goes viral
Catching the attention of national news outlets, such as Time Magazine and The Washington Post, a video of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity members using racist slurs went viral following its release on March 22. Within days the fraternity was suspended, and organizations took action in promoting solidarity against racism. UGA’s Student Government Association and UGA NAACP hosted a highly attended forum to promote conversation about racism on campus and ways to combat it.
Ph.D. student causes firestorm with posts
A viral video of an exchange between teaching assistant Irami Osei-Frimpong and a former UGA student brought attention to controversial social media posts by Osei-Frimpong, which some saw as racially hostile toward white people. The situation created conversations on campus about free speech and UGA’s history with race.
Professor investigated for multiple allegations of sexual misconduct
Math professor William Kazez was barred from campus and placed on administrative leave due to an investigation by the university’s Equal Opportunity Office for sexual misconduct. Kazez was hired by UGA more than 20 years ago, and multiple students spoke to The Red & Black, detailing behavior which escalated from special attention to inappropriate touching to sexual acts. As of May 8, the investigation is ongoing.