UNL student senator sparks controversy with racial slurs - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

UNL student senator sparks controversy with racial slurs

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Posted By: Camila Orti
corti@klkntv.com

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus is buzzing after a student senator used racial slurs in a meeting last week.

Representatives from the Association of Students at the University of Nebraska say graduate student Cameron Murphy chose to demonstrate his right to free speech by using derogatory terms; now he faces possible impeachment.

"I was in shock, I was sick to my stomach," fellow student senator Annie Himes said.

Himes says Murphy was debating a proposed resolution at a meeting on Nov. 13 that he thought restricted his freedom of speech. His response, including a cited comedy routine by Chris Rock, contained the N-word and other discriminatory phrases.

"The body was visibly uncomfortable, people had their hands on their faces, heads on the tables," Himes said.

The only person to speak up, Himes said she tried to get Murphy to stop. She also suggested that Murphy have a disciplinary hearing.

As the rest of campus learned of his speech, others, like senior Tey Leon, went up in arms.

"That day I was like let me get on the agenda for next week, because this cannot happen," Leon said.

Leon spoke at a more recent meeting, sharing her opinion that Murphy's language was offensive.

"I just needed to make sure that they, that he and everyone involved knew I'm not okay with this language and I won't tolerate it," Leon said.

Chancellor Harvey Perlman seems to agree. He sent out a letter Thursday to the University body, saying "racial epithets and racial impersonations are not acceptable anywhere, but especially in an institution devoted to education and progress."

We reached out to Murphy, who did not respond.

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