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Latino student expelled over photos that sparked racism accusations

Marquette University student Alex Ruiz was recently expelled after school officials deemed two photos inadvertently sent to a black classmate “discriminatory harassment,” this despite authorities declining to press charges, saying there was no intent to harass anyone.

In one photo, it shows Ruiz and three of his friends posing in front of a mirror with a plastic gun and the word “chuuch” – slang for “amen” – captioned on it and pointing to a well-dressed black doll. Another showed an edited image of a black male’s face over a gorilla, according to a memo from the school obtained by Campus Reform, which first reported the issue.

Marquette University did not respond to a The College Fix request for comment on this issue. Ruiz and his father also did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Fix.

In late April, Ruiz and his friends were playing around and sent the photos via Apple’s Airdrop, which allows people to send and receive photos to other people in the area anonymously. The photos elicited a negative response from a female, black student who took them as a racial threat.

Soon after the incident Marquette sent out a message to the community saying that a student had received photos containing “disturbing racial overtones” and reported the incident to the Marquette University Police Department.

“While we continue working to uncover the source of these troubling images, we must make it clear: Incidents such as this are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated on our campus. This is not who we aim to be,” the message said.

Marquette President Michael Lovell also spoke out against the issue, posting a picture on Twitter of himself with a whiteboard saying he stands against racism.

Additionally, the Marquette Democrats took their shot, decrying the incident as a “hate crime” in a tweet and saying, “We expect Marquette University to hold these students accountable for their appalling behavior.”

Contrary to all of the discrimination and racism tumult, the Marquette University Police Department told the recipient of the photo that Ruiz “had no intent to harass her and was not targeting her,” according to a portion of the police report obtained by The College Fix.

The police report also went on to state that due to the lack of intent by Ruiz, no criminal charges for harassment would be issued by the Milwaukee County District Attorney.

After the accusations of racism began, Ruiz came forward and admitted to sending the photos but explained that he didn’t intend to harass anyone.

After a student conduct hearing on May 2, the university found that the photos depicted “discriminatory harassment” and informed Ruiz he would be expelled, according to the memo.

He lost an appeal as well, according to a blog post by Marquette Professor John McAdams.

“Marquette bureaucrats, quite simply, compulsively pander to the forces of political correctness. A lot of black students were up in arms about the gag photo, so the fellow in the photo had to be expelled,” McAdams wrote. “This is racialized ‘justice.’ This is where Marquette is.”

Professor McAdams is quite familiar with Marquette’s “justice” system. Just last week he prevailed over the university in a lawsuit in which he sued the school for suspending him indefinitely without pay for using his blog to publicly criticize a graduate teaching instructor at Marquette who forbade a student from openly disagreeing with same-sex marriage in her class.

Meanwhile, Ruiz has taken responsibility and is apologetic.

“I know that I made a mistake. All I am asking for is a chance to make it right,” he told Campus Reform. “I have a desire to be part of the solution, to make amends for what went wrong, and to move forward.”

Ruiz’s father feels that Marquette seemed rather aggressive toward the situation from the beginning, according to Professor McAdams’ blog post. He said his son was “removed immediately” from his dorm and that he had to “find where to stay for the rest of the year and had numerous … sleepless nights because of the whole situation.”

“I do not see why [they would] punish a very good person and judging him just by one mistake he made to send a picture anonymously to another person that opted to received it instead of hearing the whole story and judging him by the whole person he is.”

MORE: Professor McAdams beats Marquette in court

IMAGE: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

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About the Author
Michael Jones is a senior business student at Auburn University studying finance. In addition to being a journalist for The College Fix, he is a contributor to the Lone Conservative. He enjoys coffee, sports, reading, and politics, in that order.

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