Uproar at Stanford over student's racist and violent posts

·3 min read

This story first appeared on CBS San Francisco.

Thousands of Stanford students are calling for the expulsion of a classmate over a series of racist comments and violent posts on social media.

On Monday, University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne called student Chaze Vinci's posts "ugly" and disturbing" in a message he sent campus-wide.

But while the message said the president would "address what has occurred" and that there would be "actions to ensure the safety of our community," it fell short of mentioning disciplinary actions.

The university's response and Vinci's social media posts have sparked an online change.org petition to have him expelled.

"For me, if honestly, if they don't expel him, I don't feel safe going to school," said sophomore Jordan McElroy. "It is me or him, it is him or us, and I'm leaning to consider another school for my undergraduate education."

Vinci is accused of posting on Twitter and Instagram pictures and videos, many of which are now deleted, of his belief that women should serve men. On Monday, he posted a picture of former Stanford student Brock Turner, who was convicted of sexually assaulting another student with the caption, "A woman always gets what's coming to her."

Vinci also photoshopped a Black student's face onto a picture to make it appear as if she had been beheaded. Another picture showed a professor with red marks drawn on him next to a guillotine.

"He's become an extreme threat," said Stanford student Destiny Kelly.

"The fact that we have to be responsible for our own safety at an institution that hires its own police department, that just really hurts," sophomore Lilly Towe said.

"It's like we don't feel safe at an institution when there is no particular system in place to, like, how are you protecting Black gender-marginalized folks on this campus?" asked Stanford junior Emily Nichols.

Dr. Nikki Yeboah, a former San Jose State University professor and current Washington State professor who has written plays on police and racial issues, said that if the university's priority is ensuring the safety of its campus, it needs to be proven.

"This person had threatened a Muslim student in the past," said Dr. Yeboah. "Stanford had plenty of opportunities to take this person aside or to expel this person or to make the community feel safe. So it begs the question, who is Stanford making this community safe for?"

On Friday, despite several people trying to reason with Vinci online, he continued to post videos and tweet about the situation he's found himself in, including retweeting a Stanford Daily article about the school president's Monday message.

He said in a video, "Thanks for spreading my message around campus for me. I'll see you in the fall."

Sophomore Cayla Withers said they'd heard late Monday night that the university had told Vinci he wasn't allowed on campus. But there was no word on whether he faced disciplinary action.

"We're also looking at an institution that continues to protect students like this and that continues to protect Whiteness," Nichols said.

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