Campus Reform | Vanderbilt student accused of racism, targeted by classmates for attending 2018 'North/South' event

Vanderbilt student accused of racism, targeted by classmates for attending 2018 'North/South' event

A student at Vanderbilt University running for a student government seat received intense backlash for having attended a fraternity event in 2018 that was allegedly racist in nature.

Much of the criticism toward the student is based upon an anonymous Instagram post.

Weeks after the election, Vanderbilt’s student government passed a vote of no-confidence for Gould as Economic Inclusivity Chair.

A Jewish student at Vanderbilt University says he was targeted by his peers after a campus newspaper spread unsubstantiated claims linking him to white supremacists.

Jordan Gould was running for student government president when The Vanderbilt Hustler published a story equating his attendance of a 2018 Greek-life party titled “North/South Week” with membership in a white power hate group.  

The story, Gould said, derailed his campaign and made him the target of vulgar Tweets condemning him as a racist.

According to an email obtained by The Vanderbilt Hustler, the event is dubbed “North/South Week” because the Sigma Chi fraternity is “historically divided among Southerners and Northerners.”

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Sigma Chi stopped hosting “North/South Week” after 2018’s event. 

An Instagram account devoted to ending Greek life at Vanderbilt claimed — based on a single anonymous testimony — that students shouted “the South will rise again” during a game of beer pong, among other allegations.

Gould told The Hustler that the event was not racist.

“The racism that existed is limited to the name of the event and dividing of teams based on cardinal directions,” he said, “The allegations about the event in the AGL post including the presence of a Confederate flag, chants of ‘the South will rise again,’ that the event was a longstanding tradition, or that any member chose a side based on ‘support’ are completely inaccurate and false.”

Gould apologized to the members of the opposing ticket — both of whom are African-American females — for his “participation in that event."

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Reflecting on the ordeal one week after the election, Gould shared his story on Medium in an essay titled, “When the Social Justice Mob Came for Me.”

Gould reflected on his upbringing as a middle-class Jewish-American and his work to “help low-income and first-generation students” as a member of the student government’s Economic Inclusivity Committee. He described how the student government president race changed after the Hustler discussed his fraternity involvement.

“Suddenly I started to get tweets and group messages where people told me to go to hell, that I was a white supremacist and a racist confederate,” he said. “My senior advisor, a woman of color, was asked why she supported a Colonizer. The other candidates’ supporters tore down our posters and ripped my head off the pictures, a sinister warning of what was to come. My campaign was called the white supremacist campaign.”

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Indeed, social media posts — many of which were posted after the election was called — slammed Gould for racism and prejudice.

“I don’t know any non racist z**nists at vanderbilt actually,” remarked one Twitter user.

Declaring that he was going to “super hell,” another user accused Gould of taking credit for his colleague’s work on the Economic Inclusivity Committee.

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Most recently, Vanderbilt’s student government passed a vote of no-confidence for Gould as Economic Inclusivity Chair. Hundreds of students attended the meeting.

Campus Reform reached out to Gould, the student government, and Vanderbilt University for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

Follow this author on Twitter: @BenZeisloft