Senjo had been a professor of criminology at Ogden’s Weber State University. However, his career with the institution came to an end in the wake of the George Floyd protests, following tweets he made about the demonstrations. Specifically, according to a June 3 KUTV report, it was three posts that got him into hot water.
In one tweet, he referenced vandalism that had been done to CNN headquarters in Atlanta during violent protests in that city. He expressed support for the unrest in some unspecified way. In another, a reporter said that he had been hit by police in New York City — Senjo responded by calling the alleged act “excellent,” adding that if he had been the police officer, the reporter “wouldn’t be able to tweet.” In a third, in response to a video of an NYPD vehicle apparently being driven into a crowd of protesters, Senjo wrote that wouldn’t be “how [he] would have driven the car into the crowd.”
The tweets drew outrage on the social media platform and prompted calls for his firing.
Senjo later deleted the posts and, later still, his entire Twitter account. Meanwhile, his employer called the tweets “abhorrent.”
“The comments made by our faculty member are hurtful and inconsistent with the values of Weber State University and our work to create an inclusive and welcoming environment,” the university said in a statement.
“The public fury is too great. I have to resign immediately. There’s no other option,” Senjo wrote, according to an email to his department chair that was obtained by KUTV.
Weber State did not ask for his resignation, the TV station clarified. However, Senjo is now asking for his old job back, having formally requested a withdrawal of his resignation.
That effectively puts his employment status with the university as “on-leave,” meaning that he has been relieved of his duties while still remaining an employee. Further, his future with the institution remains uncertain, as it has promised an investigation into his tweets.
In a statement, the university noted that Senjo’s resignation, the withdrawal of his resignation, and the ongoing investigation are “ongoing personnel matter[s]” and thus, can’t be commented on publicly. The institution also noted that tenured faculty members such as Senjo have five days to withdraw a resignation.