2nd March 2023

Statement Regarding the use of slurs by Monash teaching staff

Trigger Warning: discussion of racism and racial slurs.



We are deeply troubled by an incident that has been reported to us by concerned staff and students. It has come to our attention that an educator in one of Monash’s Arts courses has repeatedly used a racial slur in class, despite strong discomfort that was expressed by students in attendance. We strongly condemn this behaviour and stand in solidarity with the students who were affected by these remarks, and any Monash student who has experienced such discrimination.


We believe that all universities should be a safe and inclusive place for all students to learn, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or any other aspect of their identity.


While we recognise the importance of academic freedom and the need to critically engage with sensitive topics, we must also acknowledge that the use of offensive language is not acceptable under any circumstances. Such behaviour only serves to hinder the development of safe and supportive learning environments. It is incumbent upon us to approach discussions of race and other sensitive issues with sensitivity, compassion, and respect for all perspectives.


Moreover, the impact of using racial and discriminatory slurs goes far beyond the classroom setting. It can cause deep-seated harm and perpetuate systemic discrimination, especially for those who have historically been subjected to such oppressive language and its associated ramifications. It is our responsibility as the Monash Student Association to foster an environment that rejects the use of such language, while simultaneously creating a space for open and constructive dialogue.


We commend the faculty for initiating an investigation into the matter. However, we pledge to work closely with all staff and students involved so as to ensure this investigation is efficient and leads to significant change. We aim to not only guarantee that this issue is addressed, but to prevent any similar occurrences from happening in the future.


As a student union, we stand in solidarity with all students, and we remain committed to promoting a culture of diversity, inclusivity, and mutual respect. Please reach out to us at msa-president@monash.edu if you require any support in regards to this matter, or if this issue has raised any further concerns.


Sebastian Schultz

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