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UWEC determines disciplinary sanctions for students involved in racist messages


Eau Claire (WQOW) -- UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt said the university has determined disciplinary sanctions for the students involved in the posting of a racist image and comments on social media, but the public may never know what they are.

In a letter sent to students, faculty and staff, the chancellor said the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act prohibits the university from providing information about disciplinary sanctions.

Related: Student leaders react to racist messages allegedly from UWEC football players

In the letter, the chancellor wrote:

Dear students, faculty and staff,

I’m writing to inform you that disciplinary sanctions have been determined for students involved in the posting of a racist image and comments on social media on November 19. These sanctions come after the completion of Dean of Students LaRue Pierce’s investigation and following extensive consultation with the UW System General Counsel’s office.

In the spirit of transparency, I asked the general counsel to determine what information about the nature of these sanctions could be shared publicly under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Their analysis and resulting legal guidance determined that the university is unable to share further details. You can read UW System’s guidance here.

The students involved were informed of their sanctions this afternoon. If the sanctions are appealed, a hearing committee will review the matter. Read more about the non-academic student misconduct process in the Blugold Student Conduct Code.

In the meantime, I am reviewing the nominations for the EDI Rapid Action Task Force and will announce its membership on Monday. We received a significant number of nominations from faculty, staff and students and I am gratified by the campus response. I look forward to convening the task force and advancing this essential work.


Chancellor Jim

Related: UWEC suspends football players over racist messages directed toward ‘Black Empowerment’ group

In November, the chancellor’s office said five football players were suspended from the team for allegedly writing the racist messages that targeted members of the Black Male Empowerment group.

The Snapchat messages allegedly show several football players joking about hosting a White Male Empowerment meeting, posting a picture of the KKK burning a cross.

Stephen Kelley

Stephen Kelley joined the News 18 team in August 2006. He is currently the Executive Producer.

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