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Stanford Bans Student from Campus for Racist, Sexist Social Media Posts

Stanford University has banned a student from campus over offensive social media posts. Embarcadero Media file photo.

Stanford University has banned a student from campus after he made racist and sexist social media posts on Sunday, Aug. 29, and Monday, Aug. 30, though the university has not yet said whether the student will be expelled or face other disciplinary measures.

In a public letter Monday, Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said that stopping the student from entering campus was a “first step,” adding that the student isn’t believed to currently be in California. Tessier-Lavigne went on to say that the university is taking “other, additional” measures to respond but didn’t specify what those are, citing privacy requirements.

“The posts created pain, fear and anger for many people,” Tessier-Lavigne wrote. “The threatening language and identity-based attacks in the posts are totally inconsistent with what we want, or will accept, at Stanford.”

Various media outlets have described a range of offensive posts by the student, identified as Chaze Vinci. He appears to have deactivated his Instagram account and deleted certain tweets.

A Change.org petition calling on Stanford to expel Vinci, which has received over 3,700 signatures, links to screenshots of posts that include racist caricatures; an image edited to make it look like a Black student has been beheaded; a picture of a guillotine next to a photo of a Stanford professor whose face and neck are marked with red; and a pie chart of the racial and ethnic composition of Stanford’s student body, with the Black population circled and the caption, “It’s time the majority started running things, don’t you think?”

Vinci also posted a series of tweets on Monday, which were still online Tuesday afternoon, including an image of Brock Turner, the former Stanford athlete convicted of sexual assault, with the accompanying text, “A woman always gets what’s coming to her. But yea. I’m the one who’s getting expelled. How’s that worked out in the past?”

Tessier-Lavigne called the initial posts “abhorrent and racist,” adding that they were compounded by “an additional series of misogynistic and otherwise offensive posts” on Monday.

“Due to the threatening nature of several of the weekend posts, and the violent imagery accompanying them, many of you have expressed concern for the safety of members of the Stanford community,” he wrote. “We take our obligation to provide for your safety and wellbeing extremely seriously, and we have held this obligation firmly in mind as we have been working to address this matter.”

Stanford spokesperson E.J. Miranda declined to answer specific questions from the Palo Alto Weekly about the incident, including how long the campus ban will last and whether other disciplinary actions are being taken, instead referring back to the president’s message.

Vinci did not immediately respond to a Twitter message seeking comment.

This story originally appeared in Palo Alto Online and was written by Zoe Morgan. Palo Alto Online is part of the CalMatters Network.

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