White supremacist literature resurfaces around campus

Edited+image+removing+the+white+supremest+organization%27s+name+from+one+of+the+stickers+found+on+Monday%2C+March+13%2C+2020%2C+on+Texas+State+Univerity%27s+campus+by+the+bus+loop.%0AEdit%3A+Chase+Rogers

Laura Figi

Edited image removing the white supremest organization's name from one of the stickers found on Monday, March 13, 2020, on Texas State Univerity's campus by the bus loop. Edit: Chase Rogers

Sandra Sadek, Senior News Reporter

Editor’s note: In our coverage of this group’s efforts to attempt to promote white nationalism, we have opted to blur their organizations name and have refrained from listing them by name in an effort to not give them an additional platform for hate or intolerance while also effectively reporting on the campus community.

Stickers depicting a white supremacist organization were found around campus March 12, continuing a trend of provocative supremest literature popping up around the university.

This is not the first instance of white supremacist literature on campus. The Clery Act, which provides university officials with a means to report various crimes on campus, reported only three hate crimes since 2016, but instances of banners and flyers posted around campus in support of far right-wing ideologies have become almost common to Texas State students.

The Anti-Defamation League reported white supremacist propaganda distribution more than doubled in 2019, with a total of 2,713 cases reported both on and off-campuses.

The stickers on campus can be traced back to a white supremacist organization and members. The organization, labeled as a “white nationalist hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is known for flyering around campus and the San Marcos community as a result of an opinion column published in The University Star called “Your DNA is an Abomination,” an opinion article that garnered national attention for denouncing white nationalism and was issued an apology from The University Star.

In the past, individuals found to post such literature on campus were issued criminal trespassing. The identities of the trespassers at the time were never released to the public despite not being Texas State students.

University Police Chief Laurie Espinoza Clouse, who joined the university after the majority of the flyer incidents, said her team located the most recent stickers on campus and were able to remove them and document instances of flyering on campus.

“As part of our regular campus patrols, our officers monitor for unauthorized posting of flyers, posters, stickers and other literature. Patrol officers were reminded to be especially vigilant in locating any of these stickers, documenting the incident in the form of a police report, photographing them and removing them,” Clouse wrote in an email to The University Star. “If our officers observe anyone placing these stickers or other flyers on our campuses, they will document the contact and fully identify the person(s) responsible. If the individual is a non-student, they will be issued a Criminal Trespassing Warning. If it is a student, they will be referred to student conduct.”

Sandy Pantlik, assistant vice-president for communications at Texas State, said the university has measures in place to respond, adding students can also act themselves to remove the flyers.

“If any of our faculty, staff or students see racist material on our campuses, report it through Bring it Up Bobcats to bring it to the attention of the Bias Response Team, which includes a UPD officer and representatives from other key offices across the university,” Pantlik wrote in an email to The University Star. “Also, members of our community are empowered to remove racist material and throw it away after they report the incident. We can all play a part in ridding our campus of hateful unapproved propaganda.”

Bring It Up Bobcats is a bias response protocol that provides students, faculty and staff with the opportunity to report incidences of bias that are “not criminal in nature but are counter to our university’s values.” The system was launched October 2019.

“Bobcats believe in treating everyone with integrity and respect, and messages of hate and bigotry have no place on our campuses,” Pantlik wrote in an email. “Unfortunately, groups like the Patriot Front will likely continue their efforts to spread propaganda as they have nationwide, but we will continue to be vigilant and work together as a community to rid our campuses of any hateful unauthorized postings.”

In the past, students have also taken action to voice their discontent with the university’s response in handling such incidents. Graffitis and flyers depicting President Denise Trauth as a “racist enabler” were found around campus in February 2018 as a reaction to former Student Body President Connor Clegg’s sexist and racist Instagram posts.

Clouse said UPD is poised to make the campus a safe space for students, including practicing the removal of white supremacist literature.

“I recognize the importance of keeping our campus free of white supremacist literature and UPD is committed to working with the university community to combat this behavior,” Clouse said.

Editor-In-Chief Jakob Rodriguez contributed to the source material used for quoting university officials in this article.


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