Screenshots taken from student body President Connor Clegg’s Instagram account surfaced on multiple social media accounts Feb. 1, now students are calling the office of the Vice President of Student Affairs to report misconduct.
The posts include Clegg with strangers and another a photo collage of nuns from behind. The two photos with Clegg include people appearing of Asian descent and have hashtags like #asianfellows, #pearlharborwasbad, #gottheirass, #assholes and more. The post featuring nuns had hashtags like #holybooty and #idcloisterthatass.
Screenshots taken from Student Body President Connor Clegg’s Instagram account, before the account was deactivated.
The posts remained active on his Instagram page until this afternoon, until around 1 p.m. when the account was deactivated.
During the summer of 2014, Clegg was traveling Europe before entering his freshman year at Texas State. While abroad, Clegg posted photos of himself and other people with racist, sexist hashtags.
Rudy Martinez, former Star columnist and philosophy senior, posted on his Facebook page at approximately 9 a.m. and had made two more posts since including photos of Clegg’s posts and the hashtag #impeachclegg. The posts have received attention throughout the day and have been made public with nearly 50 shares.
Martinez was the first to post publicly, but students on Twitter have been posting throughout the day about their feelings towards the hashtags and photos and have been urging fellow students to report the incident to Texas State officials.
Clegg said he heard about the backlash from his 2014 posts this morning, while in a dentist appointment. He was tagged in Martinez’s original post but said he did not feel the need to react immediately.
“I had just finished up high school,” Clegg said. “I think there’s been a lot of maturation that’s happened over four years. To dig back that far, it seems like (Martinez) is reaching for straws.”
However, Clegg said he apologizes to anyone who is or was offended by the words he used in the posts.
“It was stupid, it’s stupid high school, locker room talk if even,” Clegg said. “I remember I was in Europe, having fun and at the time I thought it was funny. Now, I can guarantee that I have grown up since then.”
Clegg said he supports equality between races, nationalities and genders. He said he currently supports the #MeToo movement and organizations like Not on My Campus despite his choice to sexualize nuns in the past. Clegg said he has learned from his mistakes due to being involved on campus since his freshman year.
According to Clegg, he will be issuing a formal statement as student body president apologizing for his language in his posts and he will no longer allow the posts to be active.
Throughout his administration, Clegg has received backlash for his social media presence on Facebook and Twitter. Organizations like the Pan African Action Committee at Texas State have promoted petitions to have Clegg impeached for his stances on free speech and his reactions to issues on campus.
Emmy Orioha, political science junior and president of PAAC, learned about the posts this morning, through text messages.
Orioha said he does not speak on behalf of PAAC, but as a student who has met Clegg, interacted with him and has followed his administration this year. Orioha said he met Clegg during freshman orientation in the fall of 2014. He had a positive first impression of Clegg, but said he often disagrees with Clegg’s reaction to issues on campus including Nazi propaganda and free speech.
“I would say with his delayed reaction to fliers and banners and issues for minority students, I’ve been disappointed,” Orioha said. “I think students want to see a president who cares and not only a president who cares in the rooms where it matters but is actually interacting with other people. When you think about where these issues come from, it’s from racism like this.”
Orioha said he hopes to see a formal apology from Clegg that is genuine and available for all students to see.
The office of the Vice President of Student Affairs has received at least 10 complaints today from various community members according to Joanne Smith, vice president of Student Affairs, and Matt Flores, university spokesperson.
“We need to talk to the parties that may have been affected and the ones at issue here,” Flores said. “We’ll know more probably, tomorrow. There has to be an examination of what the material is.”
According to Smith, she functions as the last stop in the appeal process for complaints and accusations. Smith said the student justice system will make decisions based on conduct violations related to the case should they be found and proven.