Viral video of student confrontation over dreadlocks prompts investigation at SFSU

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Campus police at San Francisco State University have launched an investigation into a viral video that shows a female student confronting a male student on campus about his dreadlocks.

Campus officials confirmed to KRON 4 News that the video took place on campus Monday afternoon and that both individuals are students, but neither are employed by the school.

KRON4 News reporter Justine Waldman caught up with Cory Goldstein, the man in dreadlocks. Goldstein says this confrontation started on campus quad when the unidentified woman went to hand him a flyer but pulled it back and said “sorry we don’t want people with your hair here.”

He says was having a bad day and was trying to get to lunch, didn’t want to get in a fight. He was walking away and that’s when matters escalated.

The 46-second video shows an African-American student confronting Goldstein inside a campus hallway about his hair.

She tells him in the video that he is appropriating her culture and when he tries to walk away she obstructs his path.

“Yo, stop touching me right now,” Goldstein says he tries to walk up the stairs. She then grabs his arm to keep him from leaving.

“I don’t need your disrespect,” Goldstein says as she releases her grip on him and he walks away.

The woman then notices someone recording the video and asks the unidentified cameraman why he was filming.

“Just for everyone’s safety,” the cameraman says before shutting off the camera.

Goldstein understands she and her friend were trying to explain why his hair was a form of “cultural appropriation” but he says her approach was not done in a positive way.

He says he does not know the girl, they’ve never met before. He also says he would like to talk with her then apologize and have a more civil discussion.

“I just felt really uncomfortable and really anxious and frazzled about the situation, and I just could not understand why this was happening,” Goldstein told KRON’s Justine Waldman.

Goldstein said this started when the girl in the video refused to hand him a flier outside.

“She was about to hand me one and saw that I had dreadlocks and…said, ‘Sorry, we don’t want people with your hair here,'” Goldstein said.

Goldstein admitted he called her rude in response.

As for the individual who filmed the incident, KRON4 has learned that he has requested that charges be pressed.

KRON was not able to connect with the female student seen in the video.

Statement from SFSU:

We are aware of the video made of an incident which occurred on campus yesterday afternoon. University police were called to the scene of the incident when it occurred. The two individuals involved in the incident are not San Francisco State University employees. Further, no criminal charges have been pressed at this time to the University’s knowledge.

San Francisco State University promotes the rights of the campus community to engage in free speech, but does not condone behavior that impedes the safety or well-being of others. We are taking the matter seriously and will promptly and thoroughly investigate this incident through applicable University channels, including our campus student conduct procedures

The Associated Students of San Francisco State University has issued the following statement on the video:

Associated Students is aware of the situation that took place on Monday, March 28th, between three students in the Cesar Chavez Student Center. One of the students in the video, Ms. Tindle, is a student assistant employed by Associated Students, and was not acting on behalf of Associated Students in any capacity, when the incident occurred. We are in full cooperation with the investigation being conducted by the University, in order to ensure due process for these students involved.

Associated Students, Incorporated is a 501(c3) auxiliary nonprofit. Associated Students, the student government at San Francisco State University, serves as the official voice of the students. Associated Students promote an enriched cocurricular student life experience and is dedicated to the empowerment of SF State’s diverse student body through a commitment to social justice and shared governance. Associated Students provides and supports services programs, maintain fiduciary responsibility, and engage in campus-wide collaborations and external advocacy efforts.

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