A university has apologised after it came under fire for a tweet asking if students were “dreaming of a white campus”.
University College London (UCL) was forced to backtrack on a post made by its official Twitter account on Monday.
The university tweeted: “Dreaming of a white campus?
“Our campuses will be open and operating fully today, Monday 11 December, so please make your way in as planned. (We can’t guarantee snow but we’ll try!) #snowday #londonsnow”
The message, which was intended to notify students that campuses would be open regardless of snowy conditions, drew criticism from some quarters for its potential double-meaning as a racist slur.
Student Smera Kumar tweeted: “Come on UCL… dreaming of a white campus… seriously?!”
Aman Thakar added: “This UCL Alumni is not dreaming of a white campus, thanks.”
The backlash led to the university, which is consistently ranked among the best in the UK, issuing an official apology the following day and clarifying it was referencing a classic Christmas song.
It said: “We chose our words very poorly yesterday when thinking of [Bing Crosby’s White Christmas]. We’re sorry and we’ll choose our words more carefully in the future.”
The controversy has also attracted scorn and derision on social media from those who feel UCL was wrong to apologise over the post.
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Stefan Roy tweeted: “Seriously why are you pandering to such nonsense?
“They’re clearly trying to find offence when there’s non there. The tweet even had snow hashtags. And you apologising just makes it worse.
Joel Jackson said: “Thanks for clearing that up, UCL.
“I had assumed you meant some sort of genocidal project to exterminate non-whites on campus so I find the clarification most reassuring.”