Article on Oregon State student leader's views sparks uproar
Jan. 24, 2018
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A member of Oregon State University's student government has sparked outrage on campus following an arrest and a student newspaper article that outlined his white nationalist views.
Andrew Oswalt was arrested Monday — the same day the newspaper published an interview with him in which he shared inflammatory thoughts about minorities and women, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported .
The 27-year-old student, who is pursuing a doctorate in chemistry, was arrested on a misdemeanor criminal mischief charge after Corvallis police said he and another person placed bumper stickers with racial slurs on two cars in June. The cars belonged to members of the advocacy group Showing Up For Racial Justice.
In an email response to questions Tuesday, Oswalt said police are involved in an "extremely politicized attempt at character assassination."
Corvallis Police Lt. Daniel Duncan said the arrest was not related to the article published in The Daily Barometer.
Police searched Oswalt's residence last week. Duncan said officers found matching bumper stickers and fliers. Oswalt was identified through surveillance footage from the scene of the bumper sticker incident, police said.
Oswalt affirmed his beliefs, saying white people have greater intelligence than other racial or ethnic groups. He prefers to be known as an "ethno-nationalist."
"If anyone believes that statements I have made are in error, prove it to me, and I will recant," Oswalt said. "With some exceptions, I have thus far been met with unchecked emotion, ad hominem and lazy stereotyping."
Oswalt was elected as a student representative last March. The student government is considering a measure to oust him from the role.
"His words and actions are morally reprehensible," said Simon Brundage, student government president. "When someone on our student government espouses bigoted, disturbing views, it is plainly unacceptable."
Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson said additional charges against Oswalt may be sought.
"We're going to be taking a very close look at whether the evidence supports a charge of intimidation," Haroldson said.
Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com