White nationalist posters found in Ballantine
Faculty on the fifth, sixth and seventh floors of Ballantine came to work Monday to find their doors and bulletin boards covered with white nationalist, or “alt-right,” posters for a group known as “Identity Evropa.”
Stephanie Huezo, a Ph.D. student in Latin American history, said she came into work in Latino studies early and at first thought the posters were a joke. Then she said she saw they were pasted down the entire floor.
“Almost every professor’s office had one,” Huezo said.
Idenitity Evropa is not a registered IU student organization. The group had posters featuring Greek statues and captions below that said “Our future belongs to us” and “Let’s become great again.”
According to its website, Identity Evropa is a group of Euro-centric people who feel their culture is under attack.
“In a time when every other people are asserting their identity, without action, we will have no chance to resist our dispossession,” according to Evropa’s description.
Sylvia Martínez, the director of the Latino studies program, said she has submitted a report to IU administration but she is still trying to process how something like this could happen.
“I don’t have words yet,” Martínez said.
Provost and and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel later released a statement which said the University is working with police and has notified the FBI to the situation. She also said in the release the University rejects racism and bigotry and will do their utmost to investigate this "abhorrent act."
"We will not be divided by cowards," Robel said in the press release. "We are a university. We discuss ideas in the full light of day. We are, and will remain, one IU."
Huezo said Latino Studies has always felt like a safe place for her but now she doesn’t know what to do.
“This is my second home,” Huezo said. “I feel safe there.”
Huezo’s organization, the Latino Graduate Student Association, has already issued a statement asking students to remain calm after what they have deemed “targeting.”
“We do not want to alarm any of you,” according to the press release. “We are sending this email to make you aware of what is happening right now on campus and to let you know that LGSA is here as a community and network of support.”
Huezo also said she hopes the administration does something substantial for groups like hers who feel threatened.
Mientzi Martinez-Rivera, one of Huezo’s colleagues, said she actually had one of her own posters torn down. Her poster, “We the People,” featured a young Latina woman with a rose in her hair, underscored with the phrase “defend dignity.”
At first she was confused and thought it was a joke, but then she realized someone had recently torn down her own poster to put up their own white nationalist one. She said her heart started beating faster at the very thought.
“This cannot be happening,” Martinez-Rivera said.
The Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies was also targeted, and its fiscal officer Michael Brooks said he filed a report with the IU Police Department.
IUPD Capt. Andy Stephenson said they are investigating the origin of the flyers in conjunction with the FBI.
Martinez-Rivera said she was uncertain how to respond exactly except to keep doing her job as a professor and educator.
“The job of the University is to teach students about the universe,” Martinez-Rivera said.
A previous version of this story indicated that IUPD was not investigating as of yet, but that was inaccurate. IUPD is investigating the origins of the flyer and seeking leads. The IDS regrets this error.
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