PALO ALTO, Calif. - Stanford University's president took the unusual step of denouncing social media posts by a student this week calling them ugly, disturbing, and violent. He says an investigation is underway.
On social media, the posts from Stanford student Chaze Vinci are graphic.
One shows a Black student being beheaded. Another shows a professor, his face dripping red ink, next to a guillotine. And then there's the one that says, "It's time for the majority to start running things."
Students, about to return to campus, say they're appalled.
"I've heard countless people say this is unsettling, I'm scared. This has disturbed me," says student Destiny Kelly with black@stanford.
They've begun to circulate a petition, demanding Stanford hold Vinci accountable.
Thousands have signed already.
"Chaze has been displaying increasing radicalization online since mid 2020. But we were just appalled by the extent the university has let it get this far. It's just beyond disgusting, beyond the pale," says student Dana Chiueh.
Vinci himself agreed to speak with us via Zoom.
"And what I've been trying to do is frame my biblical understanding of the world in a political context," he says adding, "It seems to be quite effective so far as the word is alive and active and divides the cursed from the blessed very quickly as we're seeing play out."
He says his words and images are meant to be divisive.
Stanford's president addressed what he called threats, with a letter saying, "We are actively working on several fronts to address what has occurred and to take actions to ensure the safety of the community."
But students say that's not enough.
"They continue to listen, but not hear us," says Kelly
Comparative Literature Professor David Palumbo-Liu was the target of the post with the guillotine.
He believes Vinci has crossed a line in the name of politics. He's says student political groups need to disavow this too.
"It is a call to violent action and they have said nothing. Fortunately the university has. And I think they should keep saying it because we're going to bring kids back to campus and what kind of community are we bringing them into?" says Palumbo-Liu.
No word on what type of action the university is considering. Classes resume on September 20.