BEC suspends MSA campaigning due to controversial tweets
Candidates Caius Gillen, Claire Jacobs and Blaine Thomas have tweeted racist, sexist and homophobic terms in the past.
Mar. 06, 2018
Update: Due to the surfacing of these controversial tweets, Gillen, Jacobs, and Thomas have dropped out of the election.
Controversial tweets came to surface Monday night regarding racist, sexist and homophobic terms used in past tweets by Caius Gillen, vice presidential candidate of the More to Roar campaign, Claire Jacobs, presidential candidate of the It’s About Time campaign, and Blaine Thomas, presidential candidate of the Fight Forward campaign.
Due to content in the tweets by candidates from each MSA presidential platform, BEC chairman Joseph Sell suspended campaigning March 6.
Gillen tweeted sexist comments in his tweets from 2016, calling women “thots” and claiming they are “trying to get put on.” He tweeted racist comments in 2016 as well.
“About to watch a black man swim for the first time,” Gillen tweeted in January 2016. “College is truly the best place for new experiences.”
Jacobs tweeted racial slurs and racist comments more than once in her tweets from 2012 and 2013.
“whenever I go to the rta i put my money in yet no ticket comes out, causing me to hop the fence and get yelled at by incompetent black men,” Jacobs tweeted in November 2014.
Thomas tweeted derogatory, homophobic comments in 2012 and 2013, repeatedly using the word “fag” and “gay” at a tagged user. He also tweeted several racist comments in 2013.
“Japanese pitchers shouldn’t be allowed they are on that’s weird ass oriental herbal shit” Thomas tweeted in 2013.
There was also a photo revealed of Thomas sitting in front of a Confederate flag.
Jacobs and Thomas did not respond to comment requests. Jacobs has deleted her personal Twitter account, and Thomas has made his personal account private.
Gillen released an initial apology statement on his personal Twitter account immediately following the attention of his previous tweets.
“I deeply apologize for my offensive comments,” he wrote in the statement. “These do not reflect my views or the views of More to Roar. I hope to re-gain your trust and prove I'm committed to creating an inclusive environment on campus.”
On Tuesday morning, Gillen released a full apology statement. He further explained that his tweets do not reflect the attitudes of More to Roar.
“My statements about women from two years ago were inexcusable,” Gillen wrote in the statement. “...My statements about a black male swimming from two years ago are also inexcusable.”
The apology statement also included a quote from Jonathan “Jay” Abraham, the student his tweet referred to. His comment stated that Gillen had offered to teach him how to swim.
“I include this statement not to make excuses for my remarks, as there is no suitable excuse for perpetuating negative racial stereotypes, but to provide greater context to the tweet,” the statement said.
These statements were brought to attention by Brett Stover, KCOU news and sports online content editor, Monday night.
Edited by Stephi Smith | firstname.lastname@example.org