TikTok star sets record straight after fellow Cornell students try to get her expelled for not wearing a mask
- TikTok star Jessica Zhang has come under fire for partying and not following safety precautions surrounding Covid-19.
- A group of students created a petition to get Zhang expelled from Cornell University.
TikTok star Jessica Zhang has come under fire by her fellow Cornell University students for attending what she says was a gathering of 12 people, all of whom had tested negative for COVID-19 but were not wearing masks.
Many of her Cornell peers were upset at the lack of social distancing and mask-wearing at the gathering.
Zhang confronted her critics by stating the people calling her out “wouldn’t have been invited anyway.” Zhang now says this post was taken out of context and had nothing to do with the gathering in question. She said it was meant as a "self-deprecating jab at myself because I was clinically depressed in high school and my 'friends' often hung out without me."
Students took to social media, criticizing Zhang for what they characterized as a blatant disregard for public safety.
A petition was created by a group of students to kick Zhang out of Cornell University.
[RELATED: Cornell student 'ambassadors' help others 'adhere' to COVID-19 'Behavioral Compact']
The creators of the petition stated that “Jessica Zhang has shown that she does not care to comply to public safety measures and wants to put other citizens at risk for the sake of her own entertainment.” Therefore, Zhang shouldn’t be at Cornell because she doesn’t belong at a place where she “recklessly endangers local residents, students, and disparages the reputation of Cornell," it contends.
The petition has received more than 3,500 signatures.
[RELATED: Universities ask students to play 'coronavirus police,' report peers who might have COVID-19]
Since the petition came out, Zhang has apologized since she and others at the gathering were not wearing masks, according to a recent interview with Inside Edition. However, she believes she is a “scapegoat” for parents and students to use to threaten others.
Zhang sent a message to those threatening to get her expelled.
"Please check your facts next time before you attempt to ruin another teenager's life because the next kid might not have the platform that I have to defend themselves," she said.
Cornell University College Republicans Weston Barker told Campus Reform that students should follow the coronavirus guidelines.
"In order to be present on campus in the fall, all students are required to abide by University guidelines written to ensure public health and safety. I fully support the guidelines, and have no sympathy for those who knowingly disregard them upon their return to the Ithaca area."
"However, if and when punitive action is required, it should come from the University, and not the masses. Private students and social media commentators lack the investigative capacity of the University, and further lack the proper authority to punish. We should all be committed to justice, but should not be so zealous in our commitment that the proper passage of justice becomes undermined," he added.
John Carberry, senior director of media relations and news at Cornell University gave Campus Reform the following statement: "While we are not able to speak to individual cases, we will note that a number of students who have violated the behavioral compact have been held accountable.
Campus Reform tried to contact Zhang but received no reply in time for publication.
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