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Rancorous November

Stanford students walk out of classes; Tulsa CC student implicated in racist emails to Penn students; blackface controversy at Abilene Christian; and more.

November 16, 2016
 
Photo by Dean Chahim
Stanford students march after walking out of class.

A week after Donald Trump was elected president, campuses across the United States continued to see growing student protests over both the election results and numerous racist incidents that have taken place since the Trump victory. Among the developments in the last 48 hours: Protesting students are walking out of classes. A video of an anti-Trump protester being assaulted has gone viral. Another student in Oklahoma has been implicated in racist messages sent to black freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania. Another blackface incident -- this time at Abilene Christian University -- has led to expulsions. And more.

Campus Walkouts

On Tuesday, hundreds of Stanford University students walked out of classes for a campus march and rally (photo above). The students joined those at other colleges and many high schools that have staged walkouts.

Yeji Jung, one of the organizers of the protest and a member of the Stanford Asian-American Activism Committee, issued a statement on the goals for the day. “We’re calling for our university to proactively support and protect the communities most directly affected by a Trump administration and a Trump-emboldened national population,” she said. “This means undocumented, Jewish, Latinx, Muslim, Southeast Asian, Native, black, disabled and queer/trans communities.”

Students at Towson University staged a walkout Monday. So did students at the University of Houston.

Hundreds participated in a Monday evening rally at Boston College (at right), calling for unity in the face of ugly incidents in which minority students and others have been targets.

More walkouts are expected today by students demanding that their colleges become sanctuaries to protect undocumented students from immigration actions the Trump administration could take against them.

Assault at Ohio State, but Not Politically Motivated

At Ohio State University, a Monday anti-Trump rally attended by about 150 people was interrupted when another student assaulted a student who was speaking.

The Lantern, the student newspaper, captured the assault on video, and many were stunned to see what happened. The speaker was at the bottom of a staircase and was jumped by a student who ran down the stairs.

The student who charged the speaker was arrested and charged with assault.

A statement from the university said, “The incident at a political demonstration on our campus yesterday is disturbing. As we said last week, the safety of our students and freedom of speech are bedrock, immutable principles that are the foundation of our university. Ohio State is investigating this incident thoroughly. We are thankful that the speaker appears to not have been seriously injured.”

The speaker, Tim Adams, is now among those pushing for charges to be dropped, The Columbus Dispatch reported. The student who charged him, Shane Michael Stanton, has Asperger’s syndrome and may have acted because of that condition, not disagreement over the anti-Trump arguments being made at the rally.

Action Taken Against Students Who Sent Racist Messages to Penn Freshmen

There were new developments Tuesday in an incident that stunned the University of Pennsylvania on Friday. Black freshmen started to receive messages from an account with GroupMe (which makes it easier to send many people a text at the same time) from someone called "Daddy Trump" or "Heil Trump." The messages were full of racist slurs and talked about sharing information about a "daily lynching," complete with photos of such killings in history and images of violent acts today.

Over the weekend, Penn announced that authorities believed that three people in Oklahoma were responsible for signing up the black freshmen at Penn to the racist message group. Also over the weekend, the University of Oklahoma announced that one of the three was a student there and that he had been suspended. On Tuesday, David Boren, president of the University of Oklahoma, announced that the student who had been suspended "is no longer enrolled."

Also on Tuesday, Tulsa Community College announced that one of its students is believed to have been involved. A statement from the college said, "Today, Tulsa Community College put on interim academic suspension a TCC student who has been identified with a social media group that posted racist messages identified by federal authorities to be potential criminal activity. This action falls under TCC’s Student Code of Conduct Policy, which prohibits behavior that threatens the mental health or safety of students or could be perceived as threatening or bullying. The interim suspension allows TCC to investigate the matter, decide on our next actions and protect our learning environment for students and our employees."

Expelled Over Blackface

Abilene Christian University on Tuesday announced that students who had been involved in posting images of a white student in blackface on social media (at right) were no longer enrolled.

President Phil Schubert sent a message to the campus in which he said, "Harassment of any kind is not tolerated at our university, and action is being taken to minimize the spread of this senseless attempt to make fun of others."

Racist Fliers at UT Dallas

The University of Texas at Dallas is the latest institution to see racist fliers appear in some campus buildings. University officials removed the fliers and have yet to determine how they got there. Many campuses this year have seen a variety of racist fliers, many times posted by those without campus ties but causing concern among students nonetheless.

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