Exeter University expels students over racist WhatsApp messages
A number of students have been expelled from Exeter University over claims they made racist comments in a WhatsApp group.
Messages sent by members of the Bracton law society allegedly made positive references to slavery, gang rape and used extreme racist language.Follow @Graphicgh
It is also claimed that were also calls for the law society to become a whites-only institution.
The university investigated the messages and said punishments included 'expulsions, suspensions and other significant sanctions'.
It was reported earlier this year that one law firm had rescinded an offer of employment to one of the students involved.
Student Arsalan Motavali played a leading role in exposing the 'racism that I've experienced' at the university.
He said he initially created the chat group in 2017 but was removed as admin as it was taken over by other students.
Mr Motavali then took screenshots of the messages before posting them on Facebook, where they have been shared hundreds of thousands of times.
In a letter to students, university vice-chancellor Professor Sir Steve Smith condemned the 'unacceptable and bigoted' behaviour of some students.
He said: 'These are very severe consequences, which have not been reached lightly, but there is no place at our university for any type of racist, bigoted, abusive or harrassing behaviour.
'I would like to thank those staff and students that have spoken out and come forward to share their experiences.'
A university spokesman did not reveal how many students have been expelled or suspended following the incidents in March. The decisions are subject to appeal.
The law society said it had decided to remove those involved from the committee - and 'indefinitely ban all those involved from the society'.
The Student's Guild said it has a 'zero tolerance' policy to racism.