Police investigate 'repeated acts of vandalism' against conservative student group
More than 300 flyers advertising an event with a conservative speaker were torn down at George Washington University.
GW’s Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter posted on campus buildings the flyers advertising an April 10 event with a former speechwriter of President George W. Bush, according to The GW Hatchet.
GW YAF President Aimee Triana claimed that 1,000 posters had been torn down in total, including the 300 “in one night.”
GW YAF released a statement on Twitter, criticizing the GW administration for not speaking up sooner, saying that the “silence is deafening and shows that conservative students are not welcome.”
GW Dean of the Student Experience Cissy Petty reported that GWPD was analyzing video footage of the incident, saying she supports “freedom of speech for all." Joey Rodriguez, director of public relations for the GW College Republicans, replied to Petty’s tweet by thanking her for her “continual engagement and aid with the matter.”
Rodriguez had previously called for Petty to speak out about the issue on March 28, when GW YAF posted a photo of someone allegedly tearing down a poster, arguing that “the conservative student experience at GW is one of continually impaired and silenced speech.”
In 2017, GW YAF also claimed that left-wing individuals at GW had torn down more than 2,000 of its posters advertising an event with Rick Santorum, an act the group called “cowardly and unacceptable.”
The GWPD did not respond to a request for comment on its investigation into the “repeated acts of vandalism” alleged by GW YAF.
Petty told the Hatchet that she reached out to the leadership of GW YAF in order to offer them her support as she generally does “when a student or student organization is facing tough times.”
Further, she said that any identified student culprits would be referred to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities for violating the GW Code of Student Conduct, which prohibits the “destroying or damaging” of “the property of others.”
"GW is committed to fostering a diverse, inclusive environment for every member of the GW community,” Petty wrote in an email obtained by the GW Hatchet. “Our campuses should reflect and embrace a rich diversity of students, faculty and staff who are treated equitably.”
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