RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – One student has been expelled and three others are being punished for their roles in a racially charged uproar on a Virginia college campus the night of President Barack Obama’s re-election, the school said Thursday.
They were among approximately 40 students who gathered outside the Minority Student Union at Hampden-Sydney College on the night of Nov. 6 within minutes after Obama won a second term. Some shouted racial slurs, tossed bottles, set off fireworks and threatened physical violence. No one was injured inside the house, and some left the building to peacefully confront the crowd, as did other students.
The four were found guilty by a student court of violating the college’s student code of conduct, the school said in a statement released to The Associated Press. Hampden-Sydney spokesman Thomas H. Shomo said the students are not being identified, and that college administrators never comment on student court verdicts.
Chris Howard, the all-male school’s first African-American president, condemned the students’ actions as a “harmful, senseless episode” in an email to parents after the incident. “There is no place for bigotry or racism on this campus,” he wrote.
The expelled student was found guilty of disruptive and lewd behavior and harassment. The other three were found guilty of violating the code of student conduct. They included lewd behavior, hazardous acts and fireworks violations. The college did not elaborate on the charges.
Each was put on probation and ordered to do community service ranging from 25 to 100 hours.
The racially tinged uproar after Obama’s re-election was among two on U.S. campuses. A protest at the University of Mississippi in Oxford involved about 400 people, some of whom shouted racial slurs. Two people were arrested.
The night after the Hampden-Sydney problems, nearly 300 members of the campus community gathered to discuss what had happened. Many spoke out against the actions of the students outside the union, Howard said.
“There were a lot more at that town hall meeting denouncing what happened than the knuckleheads who were misbehaving terribly that night,” Howard said in an interview then.
Hampden-Sydney, located about 60 miles southwest of Richmond, has a black enrollment approaching 9 percent of its 1,080 students. The private, tradition-bound school was founded in 1775 and is one of only three all-male colleges in the U.S.
The campus is known for its decorum and honor code. Visitors are greeted by passers-by, backpacks are left lying around without fear of theft and students dress in coat and tie for football games.
Students are expected to hew two standards of honorable behavior:
“The Hampden-Sydney student will behave as a gentleman at all times and in all places.”
“The Hampden-Sydney student will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do.”
Its former students have included a president, William Henry Harrison, and comedian Stephen Colbert.
Szkotak can be reached on Twitter at
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them