Offensive videos circle around campus, results in fired employee

Lauren Karmo, Campus Editor

Videos of Oakland University affiliates displaying offensive behavior have come to light via social media in recent weeks, leading the university to respond in various ways. 

Garnering the most attention was a video floating around on Twitter of the coordinator of Veterans Support Services, Eric Wuestenberg, 42 — along with his wife, Jillian, 32 — threatening a Black mother and her children with a gun following an altercation outside of Chipotle in Orion Township on July 1. 

OU quickly responded to the video, stating he had been fired from the university on July 2. 

“We have seen the video and we deem his behavior unacceptable,” OU said in a statement. “The employee has been notified that his employment has been terminated by the university.” 

The full video released by the Detroit News shows Wuestenberg and his wife threatening the four Black women after she accidentally bumped into one of the children, but refused to apologize when asked. The disagreement quickly escalated from a minor misunderstanding to a violent altercation. 

“Before I could walk into Chipotle, this woman was coming out, and I had moved out the way so she can walk out,” Makayla Green, 15, told The Detroit News. “She bumped me, and I said, ‘Excuse you.’ And then she started cussing me out and saying things like I was invading her personal space.”

Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper soon charged the couple on July 3 with felonious assault — a four year felony.

Another video of a student has also been circling on Twitter of a white OU student saying the n-word. While there have been no updates on the status of the student’s enrollment or punishment for this behavior, many students have seen the video and expressed anger or offense toward it. 

OU Student Congress (OUSC) released a statement on social media acknowledging the situation and denouncing the student’s behavior, signed by Diversity Director PJ Roberts and the rest of the OUSC staff on June 25.

“OUSC is vehemently against any and all acts of racism and hate speech within the student body and within our various communities,” the statement said. “We are the voices of the student body and an organization where you can be heard. However, we wholeheartedly denounce and hatred or discrimination of any kind.” 

While some are upset there have been no known repercussions for the student, the Dean of Students office has assured the campus community that any and all complaints of this nature brought to their office are fully investigated and handled appropriately. 

According to Aura Cazares, assistant dean of students, every situation reported is taken seriously, investigated from all sides and seen as an opportunity to “address behavior and support growth” when the topic was brought up at the July OUSC Student Concerns Forum. Cazares also said that the university is committed to creating an environment for students to feel safe, heard and grow from mistakes, in line with the university’s pillar of diversity, equity and inclusion.

If anyone encounters a situation that makes them uncomfortable, hurt or upset, they are encouraged to report it to the Dean of Students at [email protected]