Emerson College Suspends Student Group for Distributing “China Kinda Sus” Stickers
Emerson College suspended a campus chapter of conservative student group Turning Point USA on Oct. 1 after members passed out stickers critical of China’s government. Today, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is demanding the private institution drop its investigation against the students and reaffirm its promises of free expression.
On Sept. 29, several TPUSA members passed out stickers featuring a hammer and sickle with the caption “CHINA KINDA SUS” — slang for “suspicious.”
The next day, Emerson’s International Student Affairs team sent out a statement to the college’s international students decrying the “stickers that expressed anti-China hate.” Emerson Interim President William Gilligan sent a separate email to the student body in which he promised that “the College will initiate an investigation.”
Under pressure from other student groups who accused TPUSA of anti-Asian bias and xenophobia, including the Emerson Chinese Student Association, the college launched an investigation into the group. In an Instagram video, the TPUSA chapter said the stickers are critical of the Chinese government, not the Chinese people.
On Oct. 1, the TPUSA chapter’s leaders received a letter from Julie Rothhaar-Sanders, Emerson’s director of community standards, stating that the college had launched a formal investigation of TPUSA under Emerson’s Bias-Related Behavior and Invasion of Privacy policies. While the investigation is active, TPUSA faces “interim action,” meaning the group is barred from normal activities, such as hosti
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