AP NEWS

Utah students unhappy with response to racist stickers

April 16, 2019

OGDEN, Utah (AP) — Students at a Utah university have expressed frustration with the administration’s response to racist stickers and posters found at the school.

Weber State students are unhappy with the university’s actions after material promoting white supremacy appeared the weekend of March 30-31 on buildings and other structures around the Ogden campus, The Standard-Examiner reported Sunday.

Some students said many at the school about 38 miles (61 kilometers) north of Salt Lake City were unaware because an alert about the stickers was not extensively communicated.

University President Brad Mortensen released a statement April 10.

“At Weber State, we vigorously protect free speech and the diversity of ideas,” Mortensen said in the statement. “Nonetheless, we call out racist and hateful speech aimed at intimidating and frightening individuals and communities.”

The timing of Mortensen’s comments frustrated some students.

“I just don’t understand why the statement took so long to come out when these stickers were on campus (two weeks ago),” said JaLisa Lee, president of student organization Black Scholars United.

Staff removed the offensive material before classes resumed April 1, said Public Relations Director Allison Hess.

The university did not want to draw additional publicity to the white supremacy group, Hess said.

The administration sent a message to student leaders and campus offices about the stickers, she said.

The message invited students to share campus safety concerns on a student union white board April 2, which were addressed in a follow-up conversation with the chief diversity officer April 4, Hess said.

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Information from: Standard-Examiner, http://www.standard.net