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Students, University react to alt-right fliers on campus

University officials discovered fliers espousing alt-right ideology on the Tempe campus


Courtesy photo of an alt-right flyer hanging on ASU's Tempe campus. 

Fliers supporting the alt-right greeted ASU students coming to their first classes on the Tempe campus, just days after a violent white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Students and officials have discovered 14 such fliers on ASU campuses in 2017, an ASU official said.

In a statement, President Michael Crow said the University removed the hateful messages and has "moved on about (its) business." 

“Sometimes ASU, like other universities, has experienced strange notes from strange people who are not a part of the ASU community being posted around campus,” the statement read. “At ASU, we see them for what they are: The rantings of unhinged hate-mongers bent on disrupting the lives of people who are moving forward into a future that these Cro-Magnons fear."

A University spokesperson said in a statement that the ASU Police Department is aware of the flyers.

“Ensuring the safety and security of our students is our top priority, and the university undertakes extensive efforts to ensure student safety is not compromised,” the statement read. “ASU is a place where open debate can thrive and honest disagreements can be explored, but not when hateful rhetoric is used. That is not who we are.”

Daniel Schugurensky, a professor in the School of Public Affairs, said in an email that he is disappointed about seeing hateful messages on college campuses.

“Universities value inclusion, equality and diversity,” he wrote in an email. “Insulting and threatening people because of their race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or country of origin should not take place on a university campus or in any civilized society.”

Although some students may be shocked to find hateful remarks on campus, Schugurensky said in an email they should not be worried because the people who posted them represent a minority of a vast majority of students and staff.

“Students should also know that the University has mechanisms and procedures to protect their security, so if they feel unsafe they should report their concerns,” Schugurensky wrote in an email.

Jason Cusimano, a medical microbiology sophomore, said he is saddened by the hateful speech on campus.

“These groups of people are definitely not a reflective example of the majority of students, but it damages ASU's image," Cusimano said.

Cusimano said hateful views are offensive to fellow students around campus, and the people who share these views in a classroom would have nothing to offer in any sort of discussion.

“Their views would likely hinder the majority's ability to learn,” Cusimano said. “I would think the majority of students at ASU would be offended either directly or indirectly.”

Katelyn Barajas, an exercise and wellness sophomore, said the fliers will not affect her day-to-day activities.

“It’s not going to stop me from doing anything,” Barajas said. “I am still going to go to class and go to the gym.”

Barajas said she does not think actions like that from such a small minority of people will make a difference on campus.

“They aren’t going to change anything,” Barajas said. “People will still go on with their lives.”

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to correct an earlier version that incorrectly paraphrased a statement provided to The State Press by the University. A video has also been removed for further editing.

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