The University of Kansas has hired a Black Lives Matter activist who was previously banned from one of its buildings for threatening the dean.
A licensed social worker, Caleb Stephens is an activist with the local Kansas chapter of Black Lives Matter who was previously banned from the School of Social Welfare building at the University of Kansas.
In an ironic twist, he has now been given a job to work directly for the university as a graduate teaching assistant in the school’s theater department. The Lawrence Journal-World reported on Tuesday that he is also attending the college as a doctoral student.
Two years ago, Stephens was banned from campus after he reportedly cornered the school work dean in his office “unannounced and without appointment” and ordered him to send him a message that Stephens would dictate. A letter dated to December 2015 from the Office of the Provost details what he did:
You then began shouting at the Dean, from the doorway, and your voice could be heard up and down the halls. Your shouting — captured on video that I reviewed — disrupted classrooms, and caused instructors and other students to fear for their personal safety.
Please note that if you engage in a similar disruptive and threatening conduct in other University buildings, you may be subject to arrest for disorderly conduct, and this ban may be expanded to include the entire campus.
According to the Lawrence Journal-World, Stephens’ interaction was “profanity-laced” and led to him being banned from the hall until 2019. The newspaper says that details of his hiring came from a source who had also contacted the chancellor’s office informing them of his position and history on campus.
The anonymous sender was concerned about Stephens’ language on Facebook, in which he wrote — seemingly in response to an issue of racial injustice — that “yt (white) people are such pieces of (expletive),” with “no accountability and responsibility.”
Speaking to the University Daily Kansan in 2016, Stephens said that his altercation with former dean Paul Smokowski, who has since left KU, came about following the dean’s discussions with the black student activist group Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk.
Stephens was among the students who crashed the dean’s office in an effort to force him to “write an email showing solidarity” with the social justice warriors.
Stephens said he used expletives in his altercation with Smokowski because he claims the dean “didn’t fucking care about” minorities, but denied threatening the administrator.