Three Bucknell Students Suspended for Racial Slurs, Racial Violence Talk on Campus Radio

An investigation is underway at Pennsylvania’s Bucknell University centered on a segment of a weekly campus radio show which allegedly included racial slurs and talk “promoting racial violence.” Three students involved with the segment have been suspended pending the investigation’s outcome — the DJ in the booth at the time and a pair of guests.

According to The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., the show known as “Happy Times” airs each Friday evening on the campus FM station WVBU. Online, staffers describe WVBU as “‘The Voice of Bucknell University,’ Bucknell’s one and only, student-run radio station.”


The offending segment reportedly ran earlier in the month “but presumably due to the station’s low listenership, it did not come to the attention of the Bucknell administration until [this past] Thursday.”

Bucknell president John Bravman says punishment including expulsion is possible, depending on what the investigation concludes.

In a campus-wide email, Bravman wrote:

“We will not perpetuate racist and violent comments by sharing the audio or recapitulating the language used. Doing so would only give greater exposure to messages that are hurtful and antithetical to our institutional values. … This is not who we are. In fact, it is the antithesis of what so many of our students, faculty and staff are working hard to attain — a more diverse and inclusive environment. I urge you to defy this detestable conduct by not letting it thwart our progress toward a greater Bucknell.”

P.S. A potentially significant detail to consider as this story develops, via former Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) staffer Adam Kissel:


4 Responses to “Three Bucknell Students Suspended for Racial Slurs, Racial Violence Talk on Campus Radio”
  1. Kirk Weaver says:

    The charge of “racism” can entail a wide definition and mean different things to different people. That is why I can’t understand why what was said is being hushed up, or possibly I’m not looking in the right places. Even though racism isn’t a crime it is dealt with like one so when the charges are leveled it is irresponsible not to disclose what was actually said. Institutions of higher learning have the right to police things as they see fit, but race is a subject that needs open dialog, not whispers behind closed doors !

  2. asha says:

    “Please know that it troubles me deeply to have to reiterate the comments in any manner, much less in a note to our Bucknell community:

    Student 1: “[N——]”
    Student 2: “Black people should be dead.”
    Student 3: “Lynch ‘em!”

    It is clear to me that this is not an isolated incident. Racism exists on campuses across the country and, in fact, throughout society. We need to look no further than recent news headlines to see that. We cannot ignore the fact that it also exists at Bucknell and that some in our community experience it often.

    I do not presume to know how to end racism and ensure an inclusive environment for everyone at Bucknell, but with renewed urgency we need to start that conversation in earnest. Tomorrow (Tuesday) at noon, I invite you to join me in Trout Auditorium to begin discussing how, together, we can move forward and ensure that we take a true stand against racism.


    John Bravman
    Bucknell University”

  3. MisterPL says:


    Yes, context matters.

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