UNCW investigating vandalism of College Republicans flyers
Photos taken by CR President Elise Yost after promotional flyers were torn down by unknown vandals.
The University of North Carolina, Wilmington is standing up for free speech after vandals repeatedly tore down College Republicans posters promoting an event with Professor Mike Adams.
The event, titled “Three Threats to Campus Liberty and How We Beat Them,” is set to take place on November 9, but has already attracted criticism for including Adams, a conservative UNCW professor whose views are anathema to many on the left.
"Ironically, the event we're holding is about free speech on college campuses."
CR President Elise Yost provided Campus Reform with pictures depicting her defiant pledge to put up two flyers for each one that is torn down, along with a vulgar note left by one of the vandals in response.
“I started putting up flyers for our event with Mike Adams on the designated bulletin boards for campus events,” Yost said. “At least 12 of them have been taken down in numerous buildings . So I've been having to replace, re-replace, and re-re-replace them every single day. The flyers I put up In Leutze Hall, specifically, have been removed on three separate occasions now.”
Yost isn’t surprised the posters were torn down, however.
“While I'm disappointed to see students trying to shut down conservative voices on campus, I cannot say I'm surprised,” she told Campus Reform. “I wish students would instead use their First Amendment right to free speech to condemn ideas they dislike, rather than silence them.”
“Ironically, the event we're holding is about free speech on college campuses,” she noted. “They should know that while they're calling us names, we're defending their own rights to free speech.”
The CR members contacted Chancellor Jose Sartarelli in an email obtained by Campus Reform, asking him to address the situation. Yost says this is the second time the chapter has contacted the Chancellor’s office regarding the incident.
Sartarelli responded by informing the CR’s that he had reached out the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and the university’s Chief Counsel, asking them to look into the situation “immediately.”
Last year, Sartarelli sent an email to the entire campus defending free speech after a UNCW professor was caught erasing pro-Trump chalk on campus.
Shortly after receiving the Chancellor’s response, Yost said that she received a phone call from the Dean of Students’ office informing her that the club’s flyers would now be put up in locked boxes.
In addition, the office asked the club to immediately file a report if they identify or catch the perpetrators in action.
UPDATE: UNCW Chief Communications Officer Janine Iamunno confirmed that "Chancellor Sartarelli was made aware of the issue by two concerned students, and he - along with our office of the dean of students - is communicating directly with those students to try to address the concerns as best we can."
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