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Stanford bans Chaze Vinci ’23 from campus

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This article contains descriptions of violent and racist imagery against Black people, as well as references to sexual assault, that may be troubling to some readers.

Stanford is prohibiting Chaze Vinci ’23 from “entering Stanford’s campus or facilities,” Stanford president Marc Tessier-Lavigne announced in a Monday email.

The announcement comes a day after the University denounced Vinci for his racist and violent social media posts and said it is working to take action to ensure the safety of the community. Monday’s email cited Vinci’s racist posts from the weekend — including ones containing violent imagery directed toward a Black student and faculty member — and subsequent misogynistic and otherwise offensive posts as reason for the ban.

The email characterized the ban from the University as a “first step” in responding to the social media posts. Tessier-Lavigne did not specify what additional steps may be taken, citing University policies and privacy requirements. A University spokesperson did not immediately respond to The Daily’s request for comment on the duration of the ban.

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

Vinci made more posts on Twitter on Monday with sexist and racist rhetoric, as well as attacks toward other community members (his Instagram was no longer active as of Monday morning). He expressed admiration for former Stanford student Brock Turner, who was convicted of a felony, writing, “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?”

As news of Vinci’s original and latest volley of posts spread, more people, including several Stanford faculty, expressed outrage about Vinci’s tweets and called for further action from the University, with expulsion as a commonly-cited request.

“Expelling Chaze is an opportunity for Stanford to take action against anti-Black racism beyond focus groups and academic diversity initiatives by concretely making Stanford a safer space for Black students,” wrote Jianna So ’22 M.S. ’22 in an email to The Daily on Sunday.

Some students, including people that identified themselves as former friends or acquaintances of Vinci, expressed concerns about his mental health, though many noted that a diagnosis would explain but not excuse his racist and misogynistic behavior.

Karen Vinci, Vinci’s mother, wrote in a Facebook post on Aug. 29, 2020, that Vinci had suffered from a “severe mental breakdown” due to the isolation caused by the pandemic and the “mismanagement of his current medications.” The posts came a day after Vinci was arrested for breaking and entering, as well as pouring lighter fluid on someone.

Vinci wrote under the post on Sunday that he was now fine “for the Lord has redeemed me from my bed of illness.”

Some students and faculty members also called on the University to also denounce Stanford College Republicans, a student organization Vinci is affiliated with, for the culture created by the conservative organization that they believe enabled his posts.

“When is @Stanford going to denounce SCR, which created the conditions for this situation?” Stanford law professor Michele Dauber wrote in a tweet.

SCR released a statement Monday condemning Vinci’s social media posts. “We are an organization of over 150 students, and in no way do the statements of one individual represent the principles and values of our organization,” they wrote. SCR wrote that they terminated Vinci’s membership. 

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Carolyn Stein is a contributing writer from Los Angeles, California. She is pursuing coursework in psychology, East Asian studies and comparative literature. On campus, you can find her making loud noises with the LSJUMB. Contact her at news 'at' stanforddaily.com.