According to a statement given to Bwog early Wednesday morning, Barnard College has banned Julian von Abele CC ‘21, the student who went on a racist tirade in front of Butler Library early Sunday morning, from its campus.
In its statement, Barnard affirmed that this decision originates from the fact that several of the individuals of color he harassed were Barnard students. Barnard described receiving several “reports of race-related harassment and discrimination complaints based on his actions, which included targeting students because of their race and following them around Columbia’s campus.” Given Barnard’s commitment to inclusion and championing of inclusion, the statement maintained that banning Julian von Abele was a “direct response” to the incident.
For reference, Barnard’s statement has been included in full at the end of this post.
This news follows several responses issued in wake of the incident, from student groups, administrative offices, and von Abele himself. Columbia’s Black Student Organization (BSO) released its statement regarding the incident Tuesday night, painting von Abele as an individual with a “history of targeting students of color with confrontational behavior while intoxicated.” BSO also pointed towards Columbia’s Core Curriculum, based upon the “ideology of Western imperialism,” as well as last year’s controversial invitation of white supremacists to Columbia’s campus, as partial causes of the incident.
In von Abele’s own statement to the Daily Beast on Tuesday night, he denied being “a white supremacist or racist” or causing any physical or verbal harm to the other students, saying that “at no time did I shove, grab, or physically or verbally assault anyone.” Von Abele’s description of the events, his first public statement since the incident, contradicts witness testimonies and video evidence of the incident released by NowThis.
Indeed, multiple anonymous students involved in the incident have come forward to Bwog, stating that von Abele grabbed one student at the beginning of the confrontation and attempted to do so again later. At around a minute and a half into the video footage provided by NowThis, a student can be heard yelling, “Don’t touch me!” as von Abele appears to attempt to make physical contact. Von Abele additionally claimed that he interacted only with one group of students that night, and that his remarks were part of a conversation with other students beginning “when several students were accusing Trump supporters of encouraging sexual violence.” In contrast, anonymous witnesses have also shared that von Abele in fact initiated these argumentative interactions with three separate groups of students and followed students of color to JJ’s place afterwards.
Statement from Barnard College:
Our students’ safety and well-being is of the utmost concern to the College. Following the incident early Sunday morning on Columbia University’s campus in which a group of mostly black students (many from Barnard) were verbally harassed by a Columbia student advocating racist beliefs, Barnard College has banned the student depicted in the video from our campus.
This decision was in direct response to Barnard students’ reports of race-related harassment and discrimination complaints based on his actions, which included targeting students because of their race and following them around Columbia’s campus. Barnard champions inclusiveness and is committed to ensuring a safe, respectful, and inclusive place for each and every member of our community, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or national origin.
Reporting by Jenny Zhu and Zoe Sottile
Photo via Bwog Archives