Campus Free Speech

Students Demand Censorship of 'Coronavirus' Theme Party

They call it a "hate crime against Asian students and scholars."


Some students at the State University of New York at Albany (SUNY-Albany) posted a video on Instagram that advertised a "coronavirus" themed party, complete with corona-beer-filled ice buckets and attendees in surgical masks. The video was subsequently deleted.

Tacky and insensitive? Sure. A reason for the administration to intervene? No.

Nevertheless, some other students have demanded that the university punish this "hate crime against Asian students and scholars." Since the coronavirus originated in Asia and has so far mostly affected Asian people, the party is presumed to spread negative stereotypes about Asian people.

The Asian American Alliance at SUNY-Albany also called on the administration to investigate the students who posted the video and make them apologize.

In a statement, the administration described the party as "distasteful and hurtful." The university also announced an investigation, and noted that any students who violated the university's code of conduct will be punished.

But there's nothing to investigate, sanction, or punish. SUNY-Albany is a public university, and as such, its students have the right throw dumb theme parties. Their expression is protected by the First Amendment, and the administration cannot take action against them, even if other students are offended by it.

"The act of hosting a party with a theme is itself expressive, and the First Amendment generally does not permit state actors—such as public universities—to make distinctions between whether expression is offensive or inoffensive," wrote Adam Steinbaugh of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. "That's why public officials, including those at public universities, cannot ban flag burningdrag shows, culturally appropriative Halloween costumes, and other expressive events that offend many other students, like an 'ugly women' contest."

Topical theme parties on campuses often offend one group or another. The offended are entitled to feel that way, and to speak up about it. But they aren't supposed to weaponize those feelings through the university's disciplinary process.

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  1. Tacky and insensitive? Sure No. A reason for the administration to intervene? No.

    I’m surprised it took so long.

    1. I read that line and thought hmmm this sounds like Robby and sure enough. This is also the line where I decided to stop reading.

      1. Wtf does everything have to be qualified? How bout fuck the racist student group for assuming bigotry and steriotypes are being mocked by what I'm assuming is composed of a different ethnic majority. Maybe it's just indeed a corona party. Maybe they have a fever and the only cure is mexican piss water.

        1. What if my culture is to party. To rock and roll all night. And part of every day?

          1. Party on, Dude!

        2. I have fever and the only cure is... MOAR COWBELL!

    2. Last time I checked, Albany isn't on the beach. So, yes, Corona being served at a party is tacky.

      1. So racist, why do you hate the Mexicans who make beer?

    3. Tacky, maybe. Depending on your taste. I don't see how it's particularly insensitive.

      1. Speaking of tacky and insensitive, did sarc ever get in touch with you about a concert in July?

      2. Insensitive to people who have lost loved ones to the virus, I suppose.

        1. Are they the ones complaining?

  2. Q: Why do so many students push such idiotic beliefs?
    A: This is the essence of political activism and these events are resume builders.

    Q: So what do we do about it?
    A: Eliminate funding for these types of jobs both in academia and NGOs many of which are government funded.

    1. Eliminate govt-paid tuition and govt-backed student loans, and this problem will vanish inside a year.

      The problem is the "ideal" that everyone needs to go to college. Thus you get student loans backed by governments with no consequences to schools for pushing students into the only possible degree they are smart enough for.

      Get back to college educations for general education or for vocational training, and this problem would disappear.

      1. agreed. the easy money has made consumers out of folks that will not save and spend their own money. the marginal students have been the most preyed upon...lending money to those dopes is like punching babies

  3. We must ban the import of Corona beer from Mexico. Just seeing it in the store will give (stupid) people panic attacks.

  4. This is an awesome party idea fuck off soave. Asian/Mexican fusion opportunities abound.

    1. Yeah I read that and I was like, I'd definitely go to that party if I was a student there. Seems fun, and coronavirus is as good a pretext to get drunk and try to get laid as anything else is.

      1. i agree completely. why do those nay-sayers hate getting laid and having fun so much. since i occasionally drink corona's my real issue is why they didn't call the virus PBR virus or use some other crap beer. meisterbrau virus? coors virus?

    2. Robby, apparently some people don't get you. Does this guy think you are against this party?

    3. I agree, it's verging on brilliance.

      I also love how the complainers "presume" it's spreading stereotypes about asian people, instead of, i don't know, making fun of the mass panic about the coronavirus? Unless Mexican beer or surgical masks are somehow distinctly asian and adversely stereotypical (seems unlikely), it's not just lacking proof, it's simply implausible.

      1. the complainers are engaged in "grievance studies" at their baby sitter "schools". if trump carried mother theresa from a burning building in the middle of the night they'd complain that he woke her up and abducted her from her home. it's our own fault for letting it get this bad...amarica needs to go back to telling dumbasses to shut up. repeat after me..."aw shut up"!

  5. I'll have to reserve judgement until the Mexican Alliance weighs in on the cultural appropriation of their national spirit for an Asia themed party and the CDC weighs in on the waste of surgical masks during a national health emergency. Lets hope Congress will open a costly investigation to figure out what the hell is going on here.

    1. this is the best answer I've read. By the way I didn't read anywhere that the party said anything about the Coronavirus being an Asian thing. The people that are attacking the party as that are maybe the only ones who are putting that together in a negative way. My first thought was, "well it's a little scary so let's fight this off for a few hours with laughter and fun". Nothing about Asian unless they said Asian's not welcome because we are afraid of you maybe? Did they say that in the invite?

  6. People need to start saying fuck off and go pound sand to these people when they whine about this shit. And stop apologizing!

    1. The world would be a better place if more people got told to fuck off more often. If you keep giving an inch, before you know it you've lost a mile. Just tell them to fuck off right when they start with this nonsense.

    2. My plan is to get in on the action. I hereby demand the administration of SUNY-Albany give me a blowjob and an Arby's coupon. Robby, you know how to contact me when you're ready to write the article.

      1. Arby's coupon might be a bridge to far. But BJ's should be prescribed by the doctor like insulin or houses.

      2. If you've ever seen a vajayjay that looked like Arby's, you'd be a little triggered right now.

        1. Don't kink shame.

    3. agreed. it’s our own fault for letting it get this bad…amarica needs to go back to telling dumbasses to shut up. repeat after me…”aw shut up”!

  7. By the rules of intersectionality, it's only permissible to make light of the coronavirus if the ultimate target is Drumpf. Like in this excellent NYTimes piece Let’s Call It Trumpvirus.


  8. If we just outlaw colleges for a generation, this will stop.
    Make all these snowflakes work in the trades or McD's.
    Or re-institute the draft for all sexes/genders/fantasies and require 3 years service before any "higher" education.

    1. Banning, force, and compulsory service, all in the name of freedom?

      1. Maybe just stop subsidizing them. And stop telling people that they must go to college, immediately after high school.

      2. As a libertarian, I am willing to do unto others as they would have done unto them. If you're going to claim that some people should be forcibly silenced, I'm going to agree that you should indeed be forcibly silenced. Personally, I don't think people should be forcibly silenced, but if that's your bag I'm willing to accommodate you.

  9. And I call whining about a themed party a hate crime against all humanity.

  10. Nevertheless, some other students have demanded that the university punish this "hate crime against Asian students and scholars."

    Because coronavirus was created in a weapons lab by Asian students and scholars?

    1. I think it was a US government creation, but the Chinese committed IP theft.

      1. We need a tariff on coronavirus.

  11. ...some other students have demanded that the university punish this "hate crime against Asian students and scholars."

    I'm slipping. This didn't even cross my mind.

  12. What’s the easiest way to avoid coronavirus?

    Drink Tecate.

  13. Some kids seem to think Onion is an instruction manual.

  14. God, if we can't be stupid and insensitive, what is left?

    1. Jokes about fat chicks?

  15. Insensitive? To whom?

    1. hey you just wait a damn minute now nash...don't be gettin' all technical here and try to foist your logic on us.

  16. Bad idea for a party. It's too hard to drink beer through a surgical mask.

    1. i too considered that. i solved the problem by cutting a longneck sized hole in my mask. cleverness like THAT is why america is great!


  17. I wish I got here sooner I think it was a China Uncensored video that combined the Corona beer with corona virus, And suggested that the CCP might be having a coronavirus party.

  18. The racist Asians should apologize. If they don't like it go back to the communist tyranny that excreted you.

  19. "But there's nothing to investigate, sanction, or punish... Their expression is protected by the First Amendment, and the administration cannot take action against them, even if other students are offended by it."

    Don't be silly, Robby, if they can identify even one person at the party under the age of 21 the university can sanction the organizers for providing alcohol to someone under age, in violation of the school code of conduct.

    But surely you knew that.

  20. A hate crime for suggesting that Asians have something to do with the corona virus?

    Since they actually to blame for the corona virus, the very least we can do is hate on them a bit.

    And fuck off, all you tin foil hat types who are blaming it on the CIA, white people, and/or Trump.

    1. ...when it's obviously the Illuminati.

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  22. How to avoid coronavirus?

  23. How about a Masque of the Red Death theme party, with each room of the frat house illuminated in a different color, and the next day everyone says it wasn't them who came to the event dressed as Death.

  24. Is this the wrong time to discuss my costume idea for having a couple guys dressed as Charlie Chan and Fu Manchu, holding signs saying "I'm at Albany because I didn't make the Asian quota at Harvard"?

    1. THAT'S FUNNY!

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