Miami sophomore Tenudi Genana is facing charges of disorderly conduct and endangering health or safety from the Office of Community Standards after posting about incidents of racism from two unnamed members of Miami’s chapter of the Alpha Phi sorority.
Genana, a black student, has been active on social media calling out alleged racism on campus and for change throughout the university.
One of the incidents Genana brought up on social media was accusing a member of Alpha Phi of allegedly saying a racial slur.
Genana said she never reported the student to the university or contacted anyone from Miami about the alleged comment because she knew others had already made reports against the unnamed student.
On June 2, Genana was informed by the university in an email that she had been reported for disorderly conduct and endangering health or safety by the student she called out online.
On June 14, Genana was also reported by the Alpha Phi chapter president for disorderly conduct. The chapter president, who was identified through Miami documents circulating online, declined to comment.
In an incident report filed with Miami University, the unnamed student claimed Genana repeatedly posted about the student on her Instagram account and direct messaged her.
“Tenudi has made physical threats to me when we return to school in August,” the report read.
In the report, the student also said she filed a police report with her local police department.
Genana said she doesn’t think she’s any threat to the student, but she did message her saying she would confront her on campus.
“All I said is, ‘When I see you in person, you’re done,’” Genana said. “I never said, ‘I’m going to hit you.’ I just said, ‘I’m going to confront you in person because you refused to respond to my messages.’”
Genana said she contacted the unnamed student after seeing a video of her using the n-word and then later seeing her post a black square on Instagram in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
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“I'm just tired of walking around campus, seeing this perfect image of sororities, because they are so not perfect,” Genana said. “At least have transparency.”
Genana said she told the unnamed student to not be performative with her support for the Black Lives Matter movement. After the student did not respond to Genana’s message, Genana said she tried to contact the president of Alpha Phi who also did not respond.
The incident is still under investigation with the university, and Genana is under a no-contact restriction, meaning she is not allowed to contact the unnamed student or post about her on social media.
On June 22, Genana was also charged by the Office of Community Standards with failure to comply for allegedly violating the no-contact order placed between her and Alpha Phi’s president.
Genana said she’s trying to show how sororities are run, rather than involving individual people. However, she said she feels like the situation has become personal.
“I'm calling out the sorority,” Genana said. “I'm not calling out people individually in a way where it's like, ‘Oh, this is your problem.’ I'm kind of calling out the system.”
A petition was created calling for Miami and Panhellenic organizations to hold the unnamed student accountable and advocate for more anti-racism action. As of 10:30 a.m. on July 1, the petition had 5,700 signatures.
“If I'm found guilty, it's kind of worth it because I've started so much conversation,” Genana said.
On Saturday, June 27, Miami released a statement on Instagram denouncing racism and pledging to educate students to the best of their ability about race.
“In recent weeks we’ve been alerted to racist, prejudicial, and hateful statements made by Miami students on social media - they are reprehensible,” the statement read.
As of Friday, June 26, Genana was still waiting for a hearing for both of the reports filed against her.
On June 24, Alpha Phi released a statement on Instagram. In the statement, the organization said it was made aware of two situations involving its members and launched an internal judiciary based process.
“As a result, the woman involved in one of the incidents is no longer a member of our organization,” the statement read. “Because of an ongoing investigation with the University, we cannot provide additional information about the other incident.”
The Miami University Panhellenic Association said in a statement to the Miami Student it does not have the ability to oversee individual member issues.
“Panhellenic is responsible for organizational incidents,” the statement read. “This means that if an entire organization, or large group of members in a singular organization, violate our Panhellenic Bylaws, or Manual of Information, we can take them through our own judicial process.”
In the statement, the Panhellenic Association said it is up to individual chapters to hold their members accountable and to the highest standards when moving through their internal judicial process.
“When somebody completes a bias incident report or a report of harassment, it goes to the
Student Code of Conduct Office, it does not go to Panhellenic,” the statement read. “We are not privy to that information, regardless of it involving any one member of our community.”
Miami Associated Student Government (ASG) Senator Sinait Sarfino created a video commenting on the reports against Genana. She said she would like to see Miami dismiss the reports and hold the unnamed student accountable for her alleged comments.
“It seems like every single law applies to only people of color,” Sarfino said, “but as soon as something else occurs in which it is something against a person of color, it just so happens that the Constitution protects it.”
Sarfino said she is going to continue creating videos and speaking out about racism on Miami’s campus.
“I’m sick and tired of Miami not just ignoring the black students,” Sarfino said, “but any student who is not white at Miami University.”