Year in review: Collegian news desk covers frequent acts of white supremacy on campus

Haley Candelario

Editor’s note: As part of a media transparency initiative, on Aug. 20, 2018, The Collegian spent the first day of publishing of the year telling our readers about us. You can read more about the people behind our publication in the Editor’s Blog.

Last year, Collegian news reporters frequently covered what the University considers bias-motivated incidents.

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It started with one video, posted around Aug. 19 by student Elijah Thomas, which showed a crepe-paper noose hanging outside the door of his dorm in Newsom Hall.

Thomas, a Black resident assistant in Newsom, was the target of what the University considers a “bias-motivated” incident. This was the beginning of a string of incidents that continued throughout the year.

The Collegian estimates that we reported on more than 20 hate crimes during the 2017-2018 school year, compared to virtually no reports of campus hate crimes the year prior.

The Collegian even partnered with ProPublica on a project to gather data on hate crimes and bias incidents in the United States.

  • On Aug. 29, The Collegian reported on the fake noose in Newsom Hall.
  • On Aug. 30, The Collegian reported on a former CSU student who participated in the Charlottesville rally as a member of the alt-right.
  • On Oct. 4, The Collegian reported a campus wireless network had been renamed “F*ck Jews”, and “Hail Hitler” was written on a Jewish student’s door.
  • On Oct. 12. The Collegian reported on a public Snapchat of a student painted with a swastika in Durward Hall.
  • On Oct. 29, The Collegian reported on a mannequin found in a dumpster near Moby Arena covered with Nazi symbols.
  • On Feb. 2, The Collegian reported on white nationalists and antifa protesters clashing outside the Lory Student Center where conservative student group Turning Point USA hosted a speech by Charlie Kirk.
  • On Feb. 26, The Collegian reported on white supremacist posters found in academic buildings.
  • On March 4, The Collegian reported on flyers distributed across campus with a logo from a group associated with white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups.
  • On April 5, The Collegian reported on anti-Muslim incidents at the University Village Apartments.

As The Collegian continued our reporting, many of us felt this campus was no longer safe for students of color, students of various religious groups and students who were a part of Colorado State University’s LGBTQ community.

As a response, CSU students joined together to create the coalition Students Against White Supremacy to call attention to acts of white supremacy on campus. 

And The Collegian recognized the flaw in our language: These weren’t bias-motivated incidents like we had initially reported. These were acts of white supremacy.

Reporters on The Collegian news desk took on the difficult task of covering hate on campus.

But we recognize that the difficulty we experienced as reporters contrasted against the difficulty members of our campus targeted by these acts faced. While it pained us to write these stories, we could not fathom the pain and anger students who were targeted by these issues felt.

We care about the reporting we do at The Collegian, and we feel our reporting on these issues allowed members of our campus community to take action and speak out on these issues.

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While we may never experience the same emotion as students directly impacted by acts of white supremacy, we will continue to cover the issues as they come up.

It took us too long to start reporting these issues as acts of white supremacy, and while we wish called them out sooner, we approach this school year as an opportunity to raise more awareness about these issues on campus and continue learning how we can better report on acts of white supremacy.

Collegian Editor-in-Chief Haley Candelario can be reached at editor@collegian.com or on Twitter @H_Candelario98.