A racial slur scratched into a bathroom stall at the University of Ottawa’s law school is raising racial tensions.

The term used to denigrate black people was discovered over the weekend, causing students to call for a more direct response to racism at the university.

"The n-word is hateful, It is a derogatory term laced with disrespect which is meant to exert power . . . over another individual,” said Lavinia Latham of the Black Law Students’ Association of Canada on Friday.

"Us being here today is not about sensationalizing the incident, about pointing fingers or about demonizing the culprit,” Christien Levien, uOttawa Black Law Students’ Association.

A news release from uOttawa’s Black Law Students’ association said it’s related to “a variety of comments, memes and online conversations that have threatened the mental and emotional sanctity of racialized students” at the law school this term.

The university’s administration has called the act “cowardly”, with the Black Law Students Association recommending they create committees to follow up on student discrimination-related complaints.