USC Student President Says Frat Member Shouted Racial Epithet, Threw Drink at Her

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Rini Sampath, student body president of USC, was walking home Saturday night past a fraternity house when she says someone hurled a racial epithet at her. (Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

The president of USC’s undergraduate student government – who was born in India — reports that a fraternity member called her a racial epithet, cursed her and hurled a drink at her through a window last weekend.

The incident, which government leader Rini Sampath described on her Facebook page this week, has roiled the campus with discussions about racism and triggered calls for a full and formal investigation.

Sampath, who was elected this year as the first woman student body president at USC since 2006, wrote that she and friends were walking past a fraternity house when a student screamed at her “You Indian piece of s–t,” and threw his drink at her.

“Once his fraternity brothers realized it was me, they began to apologize,” she wrote in her posting. “This stung even more. Today, as I try to unpack these events, I couldn’t quite figure out why their after-the-fact apologies deepened the wound. But one of my friends explained it to me the best this morning: ‘Because now you know, the first thing they see you as is subhuman.’ And that’s the first thing some students on our campus see when they look at anyone who looks like me.”

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