The United States is still very much in the midst of a global pandemic, and while that hasn’t stopped people from going out and partying (without masks), it has made going to said parties and posting about it on social media a little riskier. If you’re a popular influencer on TikTok or YouTube, you’re being watched closely to see how you’re behaving during this pandemic.
Unfortunately for TikTok influencer Jessica Zhang, her classmates are now calling for her to be expelled from Cornell University due to her behavior while attending school during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Who is Jessica Zhang from TikTok?
Jessica Zhang, a well known TikTok creator, mostly known for her videos where she give tips to students who are applying to or starting college. Better known by her username, @zhangarang, she is one of the most popular TikTok creators with over 550,000 followers on the social media app. She is originally from Michigan but attends Cornell University, an Ivy League school in Ithaca, N.Y.
She bases all of her videos around her time at the university, giving her followers tips, tricks, and life hacks to help ease the anxieties of college life. She covers topics like admissions, budgeting, essay writing, scholarships, studying tips, and more.
Fellow Cornell students want Jessica Zhang expelled from campus.
While Jessica’s following on TikTok is impressive, she is not so popular with her classmates at Cornell. Many people are fighting for the 18-year-old freshman to be expelled. This comes after Jessica Zhang allegedly hosted and attended parties in Collegetown amid the Covid-19 pandemic, reports the Washington Post.
Students are arguing that Jessica has completely disregarded coronavirus social distancing rules and is therefore putting other people in danger for her own selfish needs. While Cornell University reports that they have only currently had 30 positive COVID-19 cases on campus, there are students arguing it is people like Jessica Zhang who will force the numbers to rise slowly and possibly force another school closure.
A group of Cornell students started a petition against Jessica Zhang.
There is currently an online petition set up on Change.org calling for the expulsion of Jessica due to her actions amid the coronavirus. The petition already has 2,840 signatures.
The petition reads, “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. These are NOT what Cornell students value and she is a horrible representation of what the university stands for during a GLOBAL PANDEMIC.”
It continues, “We need to hold these students accountable for their actions. If this is the type of behavior that Jessica Zhang is willing to publicly show, she does not need to be a student at Cornell-- risking the lives of many other underprivileged students and Ithacans who do not have the resources/means to leave Ithaca or travel back to their homes.”
The students behind the petition are calling on the school to take a stand against Cornell attendees who are violating their code of conduct as it pertains to the COVID-19 pandemic rather than turning a blind eye.
“Please sign this petition in support of removing her status as a student at Cornell. She does not belong at an institution where she recklessly endangers local residents, students, and disparages the reputation of Cornell. The University must take a hard stance on students who will not comply to social distancing guidelines and measures to de-escalate COVID-19,” the petition states.
So far, Jessica has not responded to the petition or the hate comments on her TikTok videos. Her last video was posted on Aug. 17, 2020.