MYSTERY: Anti-socialism memorial vanishes overnight

A conservative group at Sam Houston State University is alleging that its anti-socialism display on campus was stolen.

The group said it planted 1,000 red flags on the lawn near the student center to represent the more than 94 million lives lost to socialism.

The Young Conservatives of Texas at Sam Houston State University set up a memorial on the evening of Feb. 23 to honor victims of socialism only to find it gone the next morning.

The night before an event against socialism, the Young Conservatives of Texas at Sam Houston State University planted 1,000 red flags on the lawn near the Lowman Student Center to represent the more than 94 million lives lost to socialism.

The next morning, however, the flags were nowhere to be found.

“The whole entire memorial was gone, like no trace of it,” SHSU junior DianaLee Enriquez told Campus Reform.

Sam Houston State YCT chapter chairman Johnny Uribe told Campus Reform that, at first, he thought “there was some kind of miscommunication between us and the school.” However, Uribe said that the reservations coordinator for the Lowman Student Center, Anna Pursley, “reassured” him that the university was aware of the memorial due to its prior approval and did not remove it.

“I was in the office and I saw [Pursley] making calls to different departments such as the landscapers, groundskeepers and janitorial crew and they denied removing our memorial. 

She called UPD to look at the cameras and investigate,” Uribe told Campus Reform.

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SHSU public information officer Stephanie Knific confirmed to Campus Reform that an “internal investigation” was launched.

“As part of a university internal investigation, officials checked with the Grounds Department to see if they had removed the flags, which they had not. Additionally, staff checked dumpsters and trash receptacles to see if the flags had been discarded. None were found,” Knific said.

“The LSC immediately notified [the] University Police Department about the incident and was informed that the Young Conservatives could file a police report if the group wanted to pursue a criminal investigation,” she continued.

Now, Uribe believes the memorial was “stolen.”

Uribe filed a police report with the University Police Department on Friday. UPD confirmed to Campus Reform that the investigation is open and active.

Something that struck Uribe as “suspicious” was that a member of the SHSU Young Democratic Socialists of America told him another member of the pro-socialism club posted a picture of the memorial in the messaging app GroupMe, calling it “utter bulls***” without saying anything else afterward.

When asked if this will deter YCT from putting up future memorials, Uribe said this incident will “only make us stronger and we will make more memorials until the message is out there!”

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“As a public institution, Sam Houston State University values and protects First Amendment rights to express differing ideas, experiences and perspectives, which are essential to building and maintaining a learning environment of inquiry and pursuit of truth. SHSU encourages students to exercise their rights and help to build an environment of diverse thought, dialogue, and debate. University officials work with all groups and organizations throughout the year to promote expressive activity and freedom of expression,” Knific told Campus Reform.

Uribe said that he is happy the school is investigating the incident but is disheartened that someone could have stolen the flags.

“We want to share this story so that everyone knows what is going on at Sam Houston State University, a historically conservative university. We are happy that the school is investigating but we are ashamed that our fellow Bearkats would do something as dastardly as to desecrate and steal a memorial simply because ‘it offends them’ or because ‘we are shaming ‘True’ socialism.’ What they did is not true to Sam Houston’s core values of Quality, Responsibility, Respect, Individuality, and Honesty,” Uribe said.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @redwave1776