Never ceases to amaze...
dismissed for racial e-mail
By Amy Brittain
February 14, 2006
LSU law center Chancellor John Costonis removed Student Bar Association President Jacob Gardner from office after months of controversy about an e-mail Gardner sent containing racial jokes.
According to a law center statement released Monday, Gardner accidently forwarded an e-mail titled “Ghetto Spellin’ Bee” to law center administrators and Alcie Maxwell, a Black Law Students Association member, on Oct. 21, 2005.
Maxwell declined to comment for this story.
The e-mail, modeled as a mock homework assignment from an inner-city student, included 15 vocabulary words defined in an Ebonics dialect. Gardner accidently sent the e-mail to Maxwell after Maxwell e-mailed him to recommend SBA display BLSA bulletin boards in the law center.
“Maybe we can post this [list] on those bulletin boards BLSA is riding my ass about?!?” Gardner wrote in the e-mail.
According to the joint statement from Costonis and Gardner, Gardner “immediately apologized to the “unintended recipient” and accepted full responsibility for his actions. Costonis removed Gardner because he believed he had to send a “clear message” to students and accrediting agencies about racial diversity commitment.
But The Daily Reveille reported that in a Nov. 1, 2005, SBA meeting, Gardner refused to fully apologize because he needed to “further educate himself on the ramifications of an apology.”
Gardner declined to comment and clarify this discrepancy between the joint statement and his previous comments.
According to the statement, Costonis actively “urged Mr. Gardner to resign from office,” but impending finals caused Costonis to postpone his decision until the spring semester.
Gardner does not agree with Costonis’ decision but does not plan to contest it, according to the statement.
While the statement says the SBA voted to retain Gardner as president, William Sentell, law student and SBA representative, said “some wanted to impeach him.”
“It’s absurd to think that any student, elected or not, is somehow immune from administrative oversight or sanction,” he said. “There is no doubt in my mind that Chancellor Costonis made every effort to ensure that this matter was handled fairly and judiciously. The result he reached today is in the best interest of the law center and the Student Bar Association.”
Karen Soniat, law center director of communications, said Costonis declined to comment further because his statement “speaks for itself.”
Now, when I was a little ole 1L, we had a SBA president bru-ha-ha but nothing on this level. I mean I know folks are racist... but you just don't get your racist fingers stuck in the cookie jar marked racist. What a stupid law student. Now Mr. Gardner gets to where the scarlet racist badge. Guess he didn't get the forward about that Korman/Abdala email fiasco.