Controversial tweet leads to ODU Police investigation

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A recent post to social media is stirring controversy at Old Dominion University, and a spokesman told 10 On Your Side that university police are investigating the tweet.

The tweet read:

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.44.33 AM

The tweet compares a crime the person may have witnessed to allegations that Bill Cosby drugged women. Senior ODU student Ashley Medina said of the tweet, “It was almost like he was making fun of it.”

“If it’s an intent that he was trying to be silly, that’s not okay,” ODU Senior student Regina Nowatt said.

ODU’s student newspaper, The Mace & Crown, reports a freshman student posted the tweet Sunday.

Afterwards, there was immediate reaction online. The university’s student government association also responded with the following video:

SGA president, Christopher Ndiritu, told 10 On Your Side the tweet was disheartening. He said the organization joined others in responding, hoping to educate students about dating violence. Also he noted that student organizations across the country mark April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Ndiritu continued, “I would hope that our students are channeling their frustration or channeling things that they don’t seem to be right to proper offices, to proper staff or faculty at the university to bring light to that situation.”

University spokeswoman Giovanna Genard told 10 On Your Side via email:

As soon as university officials were made aware of the tweet, they reported it to law enforcement, who are conducting an investigation. The investigation continues.

This is what the students we spoke to want others to take from this incident.

“If somebody does see that then they should contact the appropriate people and also let that person know,” Nowatt said.

Medina said, “Just being as safe as you can and knowing that these things exist and just try not to put yourself in bad situations that you’re not going to get yourself out of.”

On Thursday, ODU students plan to post banners and flags across the campus to support victims of sexual assault.

Ndiritu told 10 On Your Side that is something they have already planned, before the tweet controversy.

The following are examples of the banners to be posted around ODU:

DOS FSL ItsOnUS

 

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