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Alleged Penn State Student Recorded Using Hate Speech, Racist Slurs

Update, June 1, 8 p.m.: Onward State received the following statement from Sean Setnick:

The videos and images falsely depicted me in using racial slurs against peaceful protestors in my home town. I was in the passenger seat with an American flag, and said nothing racist nor derogatory toward any individual. Some of the people at the protest were friends I graduated high school with, in which I would never disown in such horrible ways. Please look at all the facts before assuming anything. The one in which did use these derogatory terms was the driver of the Jeep.

Update, June 1, 10 a.m.: Penn State can’t yet confirm the student in question’s identity, according to spokesman Wyatt DuBois.

“[The university’s statement is] in response to a few disturbing reports of students allegedly making racist comments,” DuBois said. “As the statement notes, the University condemns these messages, and staff are verifying individuals and reaching out to those in question.”

Penn State hasn’t commented on potentially taking any further action at this time. Under federal law, student discipline matters and educational records are considered confidential.

Original Story: A man believed to be a Penn State student was recorded allegedly using hate speech at a Pennsylvania rally Sunday afternoon.

Penn State released a short statement denouncing what appears to be a similar event but doesn’t specifically reference the videos that circulated social media Sunday.

“We are aware of a disturbing video from a peaceful rally today,” the university wrote on Twitter. “The comments in the video are reprehensible and we denounce this hateful speech and bigotry in all of its forms.”

The alleged student, identified by Twitter users as Sean Setnick, used hate speech, including the N-word, while passing by protestors and referenced the Ku Klux Klan. The rally allegedly took place in Aston, Pennsylvania, about 20 minutes outside of Philadelphia.

Setnick is listed in Penn State’s student directory as an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in business administration. At the time of writing, his Instagram bio includes “Happy Valley.”

The university did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the incident and hasn’t confirmed the individual in question is a Penn State student.

We’ll update this post with more information as it becomes available.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt is a senior majoring in journalism and Onward State's managing editor. He's a huge Philadelphia sports fan, fantasy football aficionado, and washed-up drummer hailing from Collegeville, Pa. The quickest way to his heart is Margherita pizza and "Arrested Development" quotes. Follow him on Twitter @mattdisanto_ if you hate yourself or email Matt at [email protected] if you hate him.


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