A university inside the suburban sprawl of northeastern New Jersey has suspended a student for comparing another student’s legs to “a pair of bleached hams” in a YouTube comment, reports CBS New York.
School officials at Montclair State University allegedly determined that Joseph Aziz, a 26-year-old graduate student, violated the school’s student code when he published the derogatory comment.
The history of the fracas dates back to August, when Aziz showed up at a campus speech by Republican Steve Lonegan along with other members of Young Americans for Liberty, which describes itself as the school’s largest political organization.
The female student who was the subject of Aziz’s mockery also attended the speech along with a male companion, reports NJ.com. The male companion heckled Lonegan during his speech.
Someone apparently videotaped the episode and put it on YouTube. Aziz commented twice under the video. The comments allegedly called attention to the weight of both the heckler and the female student.
YouTube has since deleted the video and its comments.
“The initial comments were in poor taste and I regret making them,” Aziz told NJ.com. “I was frustrated with what I perceived as an attack on the speaker whose appearance my group sponsored.”
Such would have concluded one of millions of wonderfully insignificant instances of free speech in the United States but for the fact that someone later reported Aziz’s comments to the taxpayer-funded university.
On Oct. 9, CBS New York says, officials at Montclair State issued a no-contact order — basically a restraining order — obligating Aziz to avoid “written, verbal, or electronic contact; physical or ‘in-person’ contact, or contact by third parties” with the female student. The order also barred Aziz from contacting the other student on social media, and even mentioning her on social media.
If Aziz did not comply, the order warned, he would face legal action.
Later, Aziz posted comments about his travails in a private Facebook group — wholly unrelated to the school. “Insults are also illegal if the person gets offended,” he said in the Facebook group “Oceanian Troll Order,” according to CBS New York. He also claimed to love “trolling” online.