Pennsylvania university expels three students for racist comments on radio

By Elizabeth Daley

PITTSBURGH (Reuters) – Three students have been expelled from Pennsylvania’s Bucknell University for racist language and comments on the school’s student-run radio station, university officials said on Tuesday.

Their conduct was “a clear violation of our community standards,” President John Bravman said in an email to staff and students late on Monday.

One of the students used a derogatory term for black people, another said: “Black people should be dead,” and a third said: “Lynch ’em” during a March 20 broadcast on WVBU, Bucknell’s student-run radio station, Bravman said in his email.

The expulsions were among several recent moves by U.S. colleges and universities to deal with racism on campus.

About 3,600 students attend Bucknell, located in the central Pennsylvania town of Lewisburg.

The Bucknell radio broadcast was heard by a local prison inmate, who contacted the Lewisburg Prison Project.

Dave Sprout, a paralegal at the inmate support organization, said he contacted Bucknell, and school officials reviewed tapes of the broadcast.

Sprout said the federal penitentiary in Lewisburg had more than 1,300 inmates, many of whom listen to Bucknell’s radio station.

“Racism exists on campuses across the country and, in fact, throughout society,” Bucknell’s president wrote in his email. “We need to look no further than recent news headlines to see that.”

Connecticut College canceled all classes on Monday to hold campus-wide counseling and discussions after an offensive posting was found on a professor’s Facebook page and racist graffiti in a restroom.

Earlier in March, two fraternity members were caught on video chanting a racist song at the University of Oklahoma. They were expelled and the fraternity house was shut down.

(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Peter Cooney)

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