February 23, 2024

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Durham University withdraws student’s offer over social media comments

Durham University Library

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image captionDurham University investigated the posts after they were exposed by a student on Facebook

A student has had his offer to study at Durham University withdrawn over “utterly abhorrent” online chats.

The university said it “condemned” the messages

after they were exposed by the Overheard at Durham Uni Facebook page.

One message referred to the death of George Floyd, a black man who died while being arrested in the US. Another said “posh lads” were competing to have sex with “the poorest girl”.

Student Lydia Gibson, who exposed the posts, said she had “mixed feelings”.

Following the university’s investigation into the group messages, one student has had his place at Durham withdrawn.

Two other students were found not to have broken the rules and can start their studies, while others were investigated and were found not to have any association with the university.

Ms Gibson said she was “happy” with the quick investigation and that the student’s offer had been revoked

But she said there were still some concerns.

“Saying only one person has violated the requirements of their offer is a little bit disappointing,” she told BBC Newcastle.

“I’m not saying everyone should have their offer revoked but I definitely believe there is more than one person involved in this who deserves serious repercussions.”

Jeremy Cook, pro-vice-chancellor with responsibility for colleges and student experience, said the comments were “utterly abhorrent” and “entirely unacceptable”.

He said the investigation also revealed people falsely claiming to be Durham students fraudulently selling tickets to non-existent events.

That matter has been reported to Durham Police.

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