OGDEN, Utah (ABC4 News) UPDATE (06/16/20): Weber State University criminal justice professor Scott Senjo who is currently under investigation over controversial tweets has withdrawn his resignation.
Weber State University confirmed Senjo rescinded his resignation, which was originally tendered June 3. Per university policy, tenured faculty members have five business days to rescind a resignation.
According to a Weber State spokesperson, with his resignation withdrawn, Senjo returns to being on leave, while the school conducts a review of the impact of his tweets on university operations.
A professor for Weber State University says he was ordered to resign for his “irresponsible tweeting activity” over the last several months.
Scott Senjo was a Criminal Justice professor at the university. His tweet to a Wall Street Journal reporter over the weekend caught the eyes of many people.
The reporter tweeted “I lost my glasses and my ankle is in searing pain after NYPD hit me in the face multiple times with riot shields and pushed me to the ground. I was backing away as a request, with my hands up. My NYPD-issued press badge was clearly visible. I’m just sitting here crying. This sucks.”
Senjo replied to the thread stating: “Excellent. If I was the cop, you wouldn’t be able to tweet.”
Users immediately reported him to the university. Officials at the university called the tweet “hurtful and inconsistent with the values of Weber State University.”
That wasn’t the first controversial tweet from the professor. Users began pointing out other tweets made by Senjo over the last few months that they saw as problematic.
Other tweets found by the supposed professor state: “The America-haters like Omar are very happy. Good thing I’m not in charge. She would be back in Somalia.”
He also tweeted: “Come by my neighborhood. I won’t just display firearms, I’ll show you how they work.” Amongst other controversial tweets.
On Tuesday the professor responded to ABC4 reporter Brittany Johnson’s request for a comment.
He admitted he wrote the tweets.
“Those are my tweets but I don’t stand by them and will have to suffer the consequences of my recklessness,” he wrote to Brittany.
“I made those tweets in the sordid atmosphere of Twitter knife fights where sarcastic put-downs and tasteless humor are often the norm. I failed to respect my role as a college professor in the hyper-emotional atmosphere of the recent police brutality protests. I apologize for my Twitter contributions. In the aggregate, they reflect a great deal of ugliness,” he stated.
Senjo said the university ordered him to resign his position adding, “I agree that my tweets were far beyond the realm of acceptable university policy as well as acceptable social norms… I apologize for my irresponsible behavior and resign my position, effective immediately.”
Officials with the university said he was not asked to resign.
“The university had placed Senjo on paid leave June 2, in order to conduct a review of the situation. The university did not ask him to resign,” a statement posted to their website says.
The university says he is the one that decided to resign. Citing an email sent to his department chair and college dean on June 3rd.
“I studied the situation and the public fury is too great. I have to resign immediately. There’s no other option,” according to the statement posted on the university’s website.
The rest of the statement from WSU read:
“The Twitter posts in question were hurtful and inconsistent with the values of Weber State University and our work to create an inclusive and welcoming environment. We know the views expressed in these tweets make many of our students and members of our campus community feel isolated or unsupported.
We appreciate the outpouring of emails and social media posts from our students, alumni and colleagues who shared their concerns.
We remain committed to creating a campus environment where all are welcome, heard, valued and supported.”
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