Republican students identify alleged vandal, UNCW investigates
- Conservative students at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington believe they have identified the vandal who repeatedly tore down posters promoting a free speech event.
- College Republicans President Elise Yost provided the suspect's name to UNCW Chancellor Jose Sartarelli after club members allegedly caught him "bragging to a friend" about tearing down the flyers.
- Sartarelli vowed to investigate the lead, and also promised to put up signs discouraging students from "tampering with posted flyers" in the future.
Conservative students at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington believe they have identified the vandal who repeatedly tore down posters promoting a free speech event.
Elise Yost, president of the school’s College Republicans chapter, told Campus Reform that the individual was caught “bragging to a friend” about tearing down the flyers advertising the event featuring popular conservative professor Mike Adams, noting that the suspect “despises Republicans.”
In an email obtained by Campus Reform, Yost informed Chancellor Jose Sartarelli of the individual’s identity, in response to which Sartarelli assured Yost that he would follow up on the lead, and pledged to make freedom of speech a top priority.
“I immediately asked my team to look into this matter, and I want to reassure you that we take your concerns seriously,” the email reads. “I appreciate your follow-up note indicating you believe you know who may be involved with the flyer removal, and I have asked the Dean of Students to look into that possibility.
“Moving forward, we want to make clear that this behavior isn't acceptable,” he added, saying, “we will immediately begin printing signs for common-area bulletin boards on campus to discourage students from tampering with posted flyers.”
“It remains very important to me to keep freedom of speech alive, well, and protected on our campus,” Sartarelli concluded. “It is also critical that we treat each other with dignity and respect no matter our differences in perspective, which I reiterated in a campus message on October 5.”
Adams, a conservative professor at UNCW, told Campus Reform that he finds the vandal’s behavior ludicrous, pointing out the irony of the destruction of posters promoting an event on free speech.
“The leftists at my university are too intellectually herniated to realize that vandalizing fliers for our speech confirms the central thesis of my speech, which is simply that free speech is under assault by illiberal leftists,” Adams said. “That they do this with such extreme vulgarity under the guise of combating ‘hate speech’ provides us with a new definition of hate speech.
“It is simply speech leftists hate because they lack the intelligence to offer a reasoned response,” he added. “It seems that whenever I accuse the left of censorship, their only response is ‘you can't say that.’”
The event, titled “Three Threats to Campus Liberty and How We Beat Them,” is set to take place on November 9.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AutumnDawnPrice