Offensive video featuring UWM student posted to social media

Last Updated: March 13, 2022 04:59 pm

Incident Date

September 13, 2021

Incident Location

Facebook & Instagram


An Instagram user shared two videos in which a UWM student repeatedly used racist and homophobic language. The post was shared and commented on by other social media users and sent to Milwaukee-area news outlets.

An investigation later determined the videos were made before the student enrolled at UWM.

Initial University Statement

University spokesperson Michelle Johnson, Sept. 14, 2021

We are looking into the situation and will take action as appropriate. To be clear: We condemn the racist and homophobic language used in these videos, which run counter to UWM’s values. We value diversity in all forms, and we believe all humans are innately worthy of respect.

Additional University Statements

Chancellor Mark Mone, Sept. 14, 2021

I am aware of videos circulating on social media in which a UW-Milwaukee student uses racist and homophobic language. The comments and behaviors within the video are deeply offensive, hurtful and 100% contrary to our guiding values of diversity and mutual respect and safety. UWM vehemently condemns the use of racist and anti-gay slurs.

I hear the hurt, outrage and concerns experienced by students, employees and from community members, and we are responding swiftly.

UWM is committed to safe, welcoming, and inclusive campuses, and this includes support for anyone affected by racism and homophobia. UWM offers several support services including:

I am extremely dismayed seeing this behavior. It is negating the otherwise positive energy and enthusiasm that is occurring on our campuses. We have worked hard to get here and want to build a culture of care, respect and safety in all ways. Please help us by doubling efforts to create a welcoming environment for students and all in our campus communities.

Adam Jussel, Dean of Students, Sept. 17, 2021

I would like to thank our campus community for your patience as we reviewed all relevant information regarding the concerning videos that came to our attention on Monday. The racist and bigoted statements in those videos are reprehensible, and we moved as swiftly as possible to investigate them. I am deeply saddened that the incident has hurt members of our community. Many of you have asked for an update, so I would like to share the outcome.

UWM has gathered as much information as possible about the videos, which included interviewing witnesses and those with direct information. Based on the information provided, UWM has determined that the videos were created, and statements were made, before the student was registered for courses at UWM . We also determined that the student did not post the videos herself; they were initially shared on social media by a third party. The UWM student code of conduct only applies to misconduct that occurs when the student is registered for study at UWM. While we don’t have the authority to discipline conduct that occurred when an individual is not an enrolled student, the individual in question has decided to leave on-campus housing, and to withdraw from in-person courses.

I encourage students to reach out to me with questions or concerns.


The student voluntarily shifted to remote learning.

Leaders from the Black Student Union (BSU) held a forum where Dean of Students Adam Jussel and Chancellor Mark Mone listened to students’ concerns.

Jussel and representatives from the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion subsequently held several meetings with BSU and Student Association leaders to discuss students’ requests and outcomes, which included:

  • Monthly meetings with campus leaders, Student Association executives and multicultural student organization executives
  • Semesterly meetings with the chancellor, campus leaders, Student Association executives and multicultural student organization executives
  • A team established in the Dean of Students Office to help respond to incidents that impact students
  • Continued development of the Free Speech, Rights and Responsibilities website, with significant student review, to demystify hate/bias reporting, processes and responsibilities
  • Information on UW System Chapter 17 was provided to student leaders and information about pre-enrollment behavior was added to FAQs on the Free Speech, Rights and Responsibilities website
  • Information regarding the amendment process for UW System Chapter 17 was provided to Student Association executives
  • Students received updates on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work, including efforts to diversify University Counseling Services staff

Links To Applicable Policies

Explanation of Applicable Policies

UW System and UWM policies apply only to behavior that occurs while a student is enrolled. In this case, the videos were made before the student enrolled at UWM, so the university did not have authority to initiate a student misconduct investigation.