CSU responds to white supremacist posters near MAX station

Noah Pasley and Natalie Weiland

Although there are no traffic lights on Pitkin and Mason streets, drivers are still required to stop for MAX Bus Rapid Transit busses as they are considered an active railroad by law Oct. 18, 2015. (Ryan Arb | The Collegian File Photo)

Posters expressing white supremacist ideals were found on the Colorado State University campus Sept. 10. 

One such poster, which was located near the MAX Bus Rapid Transit station, showed black text on a plain white background that read “diversity = white genocide.” The smaller text below the first message included similar messaging. The poster was later removed. 

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In a statement to The Collegian, CSU condemned the posters, saying, “The message hate groups spread is appalling and counter to the values that we hold as fundamental to our mission as a university.” 

A further statement by the CSU ethnic studies department to the campus community read, “We condemn the posters, those who post them and the forces that seek to divide us.”

Both the CSU Bias Assessment Team and the ethnic studies department received reports of the posters. 

The appearance of these posters constitutes the second bias-related incident on campus during the current school year after a series of campus preachers in the Lory Student Center Plaza drew sharp criticism of the school’s free speech policies by students. 

As a state institution, we are essentially legally prevented from punishing, suspending or expelling students who say or write something many of us find insulting, derogatory and disrespectful- Colorado State University

#CallOutCSU, a student organization, formed in the wake of these incidents and organized a campus protest to encourage action by the administration Sept. 17. President Joyce McConnell met with the group’s student leaders to discuss a course of University action on these matters and to hear their demands. 

Following this meeting, McConnell directed the consultation team for incidents of bias to handle the demands presented by #CallOutCSU, according to Director of Communications for Inclusive Excellence Brit Heiring. 

Despite acknowledging the posters placed on campus contradict University values, CSU only removes posters and signs on campus that violate University policy on placement, permission and duration of such postings. Under free speech guidelines, the University does not remove postings based on the message they seek to convey, according to CSU. 

Any materials that do not meet those guidelines are routinely removed, regardless of content,” CSU said in a statement to The Collegian. 

CSU released a statement to the campus community Sept. 13 regarding free speech and the First Amendment, saying, “We recognize that what is legally permissible for the University to do sometimes doesn’t feel like enough. As a state institution, we are essentially legally prevented from punishing, suspending or expelling students who say or write something many of us find insulting, derogatory and disrespectful.”

Students who experience or witness an incident of bias are urged to submit a bias report. 

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Natalie Weiland and Noah Pasley can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @CSUCollegian