‘you-will-not-break-my-spirit.’-uk-student-attacked-in-dorm-speaks-out-during-march-on-campus

Chanting “Protect Black women” and “Speak up, UK,” hundreds of University of Kentucky students gathered on campus Monday night after video showing a reported assault and racist incident against a student over the weekend went viral.

Organized by the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, a Black fraternity on campus, students marched from the William T. Young library to the Bowman statue near the Gatton Student Center. Students called for unity and for the university to quickly address the events from the weekend.

An intoxicated UK student physically assaulted and spouted racial slurs at a Black student desk clerk, Kylah Spring, and a UK police officer early Sunday. The incident took place at Boyd Residence Hall where Sophia Rosing, a white student, entered and began taunting, using racial slurs and making derogatory comments toward Spring, a Black student. After police arrived, Rosing continued using slurs, resisted arrest and bit a police officer, according to the arrest report.

Rosing, 22, was arrested and charged with first and second offenses of public intoxication, third-degree assault of a police officer, fourth-degree assault and second-degree disorderly conduct, according to the Fayette County Detention Center website.

Speaking to the marchers on Monday night, Spring said she was grateful for the support she had received since speaking out about the incident. At times speaking through tears, she thanked her family, friends and other UK students for supporting her.

“This is a recurring issue in and across American school systems, no matter what age,” Spring said. “I am deeply sad about the events that took place. But I am grateful for justice that is to come.”

Kylah Spring speaks at a march against racism on University of Kentucky’s campus on Nov. 7, 2022.

Kylah Spring speaks at a march against racism on University of Kentucky’s campus on Nov. 7, 2022.

Spring also had a message for Rosing, and quoted Michelle Obama: “When they go low, we go high.”

“You will not break my spirit and you will be held accountable for your actions,” Spring said, speaking about Rosing. “I only pray that you open your heart to love and try to experience life differently and more positively after this.”

Rosing’s attorney entered a not guilty plea at an arraignment on Monday afternoon, with a bond set at $10,000 cash. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 15. According to court records, she posted bond and was released Monday night. She’s ordered to have no contact with Boyd Hall or Spring and can’t consume alcohol.

The university also is conducting an investigation into the incident. As of Monday morning, Rosing was still enrolled at UK, spokesperson Whitney Siddiqi said.

Kylah Spring, center, speaks at a march against racism on University of Kentucky’s campus on Nov. 7, 2022. The march was organized after video of a white UK student, Sophia Rosing, saying racist slurs to a Black student desk clerk, Spring, went viral on social media.

Kylah Spring, center, speaks at a march against racism on University of Kentucky’s campus on Nov. 7, 2022. The march was organized after video of a white UK student, Sophia Rosing, saying racist slurs to a Black student desk clerk, Spring, went viral on social media.

Students call for immediate action

Troy Rawlins Jr., a member of the fraternity who helped organize the march, said he was angry and disappointed after hearing about the interaction between Rosing and Spring. Rawlins said he was pleased to see the university investigating the incident, and hopes there will be a quick conclusion.

“We are here to have our voices be heard so we can effectively combat racism on our campus,” Rawlins said. “We need our voices to be heard. Our voices are falling on deaf ears. The only way we are going to be heard is if we come together.”

Jaaliyah Biggers, a freshman, said she hopes Rosing will be expelled and that the university will conduct its investigation quickly and thoroughly.

“It should be an immediate reaction, and immediately resolved,” Biggers said.

Jaaliyah Biggers, a University of Kentucky freshman, displays at sign at a march against racism rally on UK’s campus on Nov. 7, 2022. The march was organized after video of a white UK student, Sophia Rosing, saying racist slurs to a Black student desk clerk, Kylah Spring, went viral on social media.

Jaaliyah Biggers, a University of Kentucky freshman, displays at sign at a march against racism rally on UK’s campus on Nov. 7, 2022. The march was organized after video of a white UK student, Sophia Rosing, saying racist slurs to a Black student desk clerk, Kylah Spring, went viral on social media.

Rosing arrested in Boyd Hall

After police arrived at Boyd Hall on Sunday, Rosing “stated that she has lots of money and (gets) special treatment,” the officer wrote in arrest documents. “When I told her to sit back in the chair she kicked me and bit my hand.”

Spring, a freshman, posted about the incident on Instagram, identifying herself as a UK student and desk clerk at the dorm.

“This girl, she walked in about 1 o’clock or 1:15, somewhere around that time. She did not look like a resident so I did not open the door,” Spring said in a video posted to her Instagram. “But when she came in she stumbled across the front desk and came in and started to talk to the elevator.”

She said it is protocol that when someone appears drunk, clerks are required to call a resident advisor and have them come to file a report, and to make sure the student safely gets to where they need to be.

In the video, Spring and another person are seen trying to calm Rosing down. At one point, they can be seen in the video attempting to get Rosing to sit in a chair but she resisted, grabbing and trying to push the student employee.

In a statement on Sunday, UK President Eli Capilouto condemned Rosing’s behavior, and said the university “will not tolerate it under any circumstance.”

“The safety and well-being of our community has been — and will continue to be — our top priority,” Capilouto said.

In the day since the video of Rosing was shared, she has lost two jobs: one with Dillard’s, and another with College Fashionista, according to social media.

Reporter Taylor Six contributed to this story.

Students gather at a march against racism rally on University of Kentucky’s campus on Nov. 7, 2022. The march was organized after video of a white UK student, Sophia Rosing, saying racist slurs to a Black student desk clerk, Kylah Spring, went viral on social media.

Students gather at a march against racism rally on University of Kentucky’s campus on Nov. 7, 2022. The march was organized after video of a white UK student, Sophia Rosing, saying racist slurs to a Black student desk clerk, Kylah Spring, went viral on social media.

Students gather at a march against racism rally on University of Kentucky’s campus on Nov. 7, 2022. The march was organized after video of a white UK student, Sophia Rosing, saying racist slurs to a Black student desk clerk, Kylah Spring, went viral on social media.

Students gather at a march against racism rally on University of Kentucky’s campus on Nov. 7, 2022. The march was organized after video of a white UK student, Sophia Rosing, saying racist slurs to a Black student desk clerk, Kylah Spring, went viral on social media.

Students gather at a march against racism rally on University of Kentucky’s campus on Nov. 7, 2022. The march was organized after video of a white UK student, Sophia Rosing, saying racist slurs to a Black student desk clerk, Kylah Spring, went viral on social media.

Students gather at a march against racism rally on University of Kentucky’s campus on Nov. 7, 2022. The march was organized after video of a white UK student, Sophia Rosing, saying racist slurs to a Black student desk clerk, Kylah Spring, went viral on social media.

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