A conservative student group at Emerson College in Boston is protesting its suspension by the University after the group distributed stickers which said “China kinda sus.”
“Sus” is slang for dishonest or suspicious.
The university subsequently banned TPUSA Emerson from hosting events or reserving campus space, according to The National Desk, a division of Sinclair broadcasting, a conservative news outlet.
William Gilligan, interim president of Emerson College, said the “expression of free ideas” does not supersede the right of “all members of our community feel a sense of belonging.”
However, TPUSA Emerson says the university is violating its free speech rights and says its target is the Chinese Communist Party and not Chinese or Asian students on campus.
The Foundation of Individual Rights in Education or FIRE has come out in support of the student group.
“If anything is ‘kinda sus,’ it’s Emerson’s overblown response to the stickers,” said FIRE attorney Adam Steinbaugh in a letter to Emerson.
“Emerson must make this right by immediately dropping the investigation and affirming that criticism of a foreign government is not discriminatory harassment,” he said.
The Berkeley Beacon, Emerson’s campus newspaper, published an op-ed by student Justin Chen which accused TPA USA of “generalizing 1.4 billion people from China and the Asian Community as“sus.”
He says many Asian students on campus have expressed their concern to him and said they feel less welcomed at Emerson.
“This includes the Chinese international students and Asian American students at the college. Many students called out their wrongdoing and expressed their anger to the organization on its Instagram page,” he wrote.
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