EXCLUSIVE: We spoke to the student who exposed THAT racist Exeter group chat
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Did anyone outside the ‘Dodgy Blokes Soc’ know they were racists?
No, I think it came as a total shock to everyone involved in BLS. Nobody expected individuals to make these comments whatsoever, but I don't think it makes them any less toxic. Closet racism seeds into a lot of aspects of livelihood and would be catastrophic in the legal field.
How difficult was it for you to keep quiet?
Very difficult. I guess I decided to take action when I could visibly see that there was no stopping point for any of these comments and they were being made more frequently and freely.
Only 1 person involved in the group chat has sent me an apology, only Matthew Bell. He forwarded me his statement. I've had nothing but support from a tonne of Law students!
Do you wish you had done things differently?
I'm very proud of the way we handled things. I feel if I had done it earlier by myself it would have been from a place of anger - approaching George, Roman and Chris really re-affirmed it to me the steps we should take and how to do it.
I think there is already a consensus about Ash, it is a deep shame to see a person of colour behave like that.
Any advice for someone thinking of exposing their course mates and worried about being abused if the post does not go viral?
Did you expect to go viral?
I expected quite a large university interaction as those individuals were quite popular and well known - but absolutely not, I was not expecting nationwide coverage. I think it's down to the several incidents that have happened in Exeter - this one just sent it over the edge
Arsalan decided to go public with his post as he did not have complete trust in Exeter, "we felt this was our only hope."
What if the post hinders job opportunities?
I hope not, I can explain myself in interviews - I'm not a person that's easily offended at all, but I simply don't stand for racial hatred of this magnitude.
Fellow law student Chris Omanyondo also expressed his disgust at the chat:
"These are people who I shared the pitch with week in and week out, have been out with, who have smiled in my face for several months, only to find that in their eyes, I’m “a happy monkey more like."
"It’s scary to think that with such a stance against black people, Asians, and Muslims, that these individuals are responsible for organising one of the biggest societies on campus, and will potentially go on to be the kind of people who could be deciding whether you or your future children get the jobs you have worked so hard to get."