This post has been updated to include both responses from Elizabethtown College and Millersville (as of 3:15 pm September 21)
Millersville University administration has so far been silent on condemning the Identity Evropa recruitment posters that were placed on the university’s campus last week. However, the university’s official Twitter account, @MillersvilleU, stated the following:
police believe posters were photoshopped on Millersville landmarks or they put them up, took pictures then took them down.
The first claim that these posters were photoshopped is wrong. Here is a tweet showing a poster glued to a transistor or some sort of electrical box reading “LS32 to DC.” The poster was ripped off after it was glued on.
— Sean Kitchen 🌹 (@RCPress_Sean) September 20, 2017
The second claim in this tweet that the posters were put up and then immediately taken down after the person took the photo may be true, but it borders absurdity. The point of these posters are to recruit white students into their neo-fascist ranks. Logically speaking, why would a white nationalist put this recruitment poster up, glue it to a transistor and then immediately take it down? These posters were most likely taken down by students who do not want this ideology spreading throughout their campus community.
Millersville University is a publicly owned university that is 77.2 percent white. Their inaction in condemning these recruitment posters and tweet claiming that this was some sort of false flag operation puts the safety of their non-white students at risk.
Recent events across the nation have also impacted the Millersville campus. Signs recently posted by those that espouse white supremacist and neo-Nazi philosophies have appeared on MU bulletin boards and property. Vice President Hazlett’s ‘Ville Daily message outlined University priorities for postings as well as appropriate and inappropriate locations for such postings.
I want to address the posters’ message by reassuring the campus community that these philosophies are not in line with our EPPIC values which have been widely embraced by the University community. To review:
Exploration – MU strives to create an environment where we can explore what it means to be a diverse community. Faculty, students, staff and administrators began meeting last semester to brainstorm ways in which the campus community can have meaningful and impactful dialogue about who we are and how we will create a safe community for everyone.
Professionalism – We treat each other with dignity and respect as MU community members. We expect professionalism to infuse our interactions because it is possible to disagree strongly without engaging in hateful rhetoric or violent behavior. That is the essence of being a professional.
Public Mission – As a public institution, we serve the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by educating students and hiring employees who come from all walks of life. We fulfill our mission by embracing that diversity.
Integrity – MU community members are expected to interact with each other and the global community with integrity, honor and respect. The old saying, “Charity begins at home,” is equally true for integrity.
Compassion – Perhaps the most important of all our EPPIC values for without compassion our exploration, professionalism, commitment to our public mission, and integrity lack the humanness that gives our values meaning. It is incumbent upon us to work together for social justice and equality.
There will be a number of opportunities around campus this semester for us to engage in dialogue, to practice empathy, and to treat others with dignity and respect. I challenge each of us to take advantage of those opportunities.
In the meantime, if you are feeling intimidated or concerned by recent events, I urge you to reach out to Jasmine Whitlow in the SMC, our Director of Intercultural Center for Student Engagement, or Dr. Kim Mahaffy in Washington House, our Coordinator for Diversity & Social Justice.
This is how Elizabethtown College President Carl J. Strikwerda responded on September 13, 2017
Over the last two days, stickers and posters were found on campus promoting Identity Evropa. Identity Evropa is a white supremacist group in the United States, established in March 2016. The group is identified as a racist white supremacist organization by the Anti-Defamation League and is designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. The group particularly targets college campuses by distributing white nationalist slogans on fliers, posters and stickers. Images of the posters and stickers are included here. All of them have been removed from campus.
Elizabethtown College strongly condemns the placement of the stickers and posters as well as Identity Evropa’s purpose and philosophy. We, as a community, affirm the values of peace, non-violence, human dignity and social justice for all. The College’s Policy Against Discrimination is a reminder that our community will not tolerate intimidation and discrimination of any kind. If anyone is seen hanging or distributing Identity Evropa information or organizing on campus, please notify Campus Security at 717-361-1111 immediately or report the activity through the LiveSafe app.
Sincerely, Carl J. Strikwerda
And this is President Strikwerda’s second response on Friday, September 15.
Dear Elizabethtown College Community —
I want to reassure our entire campus community that Elizabethtown College is committed to the safety and security of everyone who lives and works here. When events like the recent posting of Identity Evropa propaganda surface on our campus, our community becomes understandably concerned and fearful for their personal safety.
When it comes to the well-being and safety of our Elizabethtown College family, we will not compromise or waiver. The College is prepared to respond to white supremacist groups or individuals who target our campus. If they show themselves, we will not hesitate to label the members of the group as trespassers and have them removed by law enforcement, if necessary. Make no mistake, there is no place at our College for racism, intimidation, bigotry or discrimination. The values of peace, non-violence, human dignity and social justice are the values on which this College was founded and the values that continue to be the guiding principles of how we live, learn and work today. That will not change. Our community is stronger than those who seek to divide us.
WHAT WE ARE DOING:
Regarding the recent incident, both the Elizabethtown Police Department and the Northwest Regional Police Department have been notified and our Campus Security is reviewing available video footage and working to identify the individual(s) who posted the flyers. Campus Security is also stepping up patrols around campus.
The College’s Emergency Management Group assembled yesterday and discussed the incident. This group meets monthly, routinely conducts emergency preparation drills and will continue to monitor any further developments related to this incident.
Our students are unified in their conviction that this kind of divisiveness will not happen on our campus. They are mobilizing and initiating programs and conversations that reaffirm what Elizabethtown stands for. Several student groups are coming together to sponsor an alternative sticker campaign (A Blue Jay with the words “We thrive in Diversity”). Look for them and display them on your personal property. Other programs are in the works—watch for them.
Students: If you are in need of support, RAs are a good resource. They are available in the residence hall every evening. Counseling Services also are available. Their offices are located in the Baugher Student Center, Suite 216. Appointments can be made in person or by calling 717-361-1405. Urgent and crisis walk-in services also are available. For emergencies after 5 p.m. or over the weekend, call Campus Security at 717-361-1111 for immediate assistance. Our own Mosaic House is an excellent resource, as well. Regular hours are 1 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Check out the Mosaic House’s website and social media for more information.
Within the Elizabethtown community, there are a number of additional resources available to our campus community. Resources that pertain to incidents of bias, racial discrimination and acts of hate are:
Community Responders Network/YWCA of Greater Harrisburg
Human Relations Commission, Harrisburg
Employees: If you are looking for a resource to cope with any uncertainty you may be experiencing, the Employee Assistance Program is available. Here are the links to our website. http://www.etown.edu/offices/human-resources/Wellspan%20Brochure%20July%202017.pdf
The conversation is not over. It will never be over as long as these issues continue to challenge our nation and the communities where we live. We are in the process of planning meetings with students, faculty and administrators. While planning these gatherings takes some time to ensure that those who are most critical to the conversations are available, we expect that details will come together in the next few weeks. We will offer plenty of advanced notice and offer multiple options to ensure that everyone who wants to participate is able to. We also pledge that we will keep the community apprised of the investigation, of any new developments and close the loop when the case is closed.
As president of your college, let me be clear: Bigotry, discrimination, intimidation and hate will not be tolerated. We will investigate thoroughly. We will deal with it swiftly and firmly. And we will ensure that our Elizabethtown College, with deep roots in peacemaking, continues to grow strong, even in the face of outside influences that seek to do otherwise.
Carl J. Strikwerda
Carl J. Strikwerda