Colorado State expels incoming student over racist social media post

Colorado State University expelled an incoming student due to a racist social media post, the university announced Wednesday.

The university found out about the post in June, prompting a review through the student conduct process.

“Due to the violent and threatening nature of the language used, this post moved beyond the protections of the First Amendment,” CSU officials said in a tweet.

The university said the review process ended, determining the incoming student violated CSU’s Student Conduct Code.

“As a result, the individual has been disciplinarily expelled from CSU,” university officials said in a tweet.

Further information about the student and the social media post that prompted the expulsion was not immediately released.

The expulsion comes amid nationwide scrutiny about long-standing racial inequities in America prompted by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in May. Protesters across the state and nation have taken to the streets, decrying police brutality targeting Black people and inspiring reform such as a new police accountability law in Colorado and Denver Public Schools winding down its relationship with the Denver Police Department.

CSU faced criticism for the handling of a similar situation in November when students photographed posing in blackface were not punished. CSU officials cited the First Amendment in their decision at that time.

Days later, new CSU President Joyce McConnell listened to a room full of students of color sharing their experiences with racism and vowed to do better, admitting that the university had failed its diverse students.

The 2019 incident prompted the creation of a Race, Bias and Equity Initiative, responsible for better educating CSU students about diversity and improving the university’s response to bias-related incidents.

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