Phi Beta Cons

Should Brandeis Student Be Expelled?

Last weekend, Khadijah Lynch posted two Tweets that have ignited a debate about free speech in higher education and the role universities should play in terms of regulating student conduct.

Lynch, who at the time was the undergraduate representative in Brandeis University’s African and Afro-American studies department (she resigned this week), wrote that she had “no sympathy” for the two NYPD officers who were recently murdered and that she “hates this racist fucking country.” In a prior Tweet, she wrote that “the fact that black people have not burned this country down is beyond me.”

As Inside Higher Ed reports, petitions on Facebook and Change.org are calling on Brandeis to expel Lynch, while others are defending her. 

The AAAS department stated that Lynch’s comments “do not reflect” the department. But the official statement continued: 

While it may be easy and convenient at this emotionally charged moment to condemn Ms. Lynch, we must also strive to understand why she would make these comments. This means openly and honestly recognizing the very real pain and frustration that many young people of color struggle with in trying to navigate their place in a society that all too often delegitimizes their existence.

There are two Change.org petitions. As of this post, the “expel Khadijah” petition has 100 supporters and the “support Khadija” petition has 750 supporters. 

Jesse SaffronJesse Saffron is a writer and editor for the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, a North Carolina-based think tank dedicated to improving higher education in the Tar ...

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