Several flyers that said “It’s okay to be white” were found on campus beginning Oct. 31. One flyer that said “Murdoch Murdoch” was also found. A large banner that said “Reclaim America” was found over the weekend.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, the phrase “It’s okay to be white” has been used by white supremacists to promote their ideals and direct people to their websites, such as Murdoch Murdoch. Similar flyer campaigns began in late 2017 and have occurred on college campuses throughout the country.
What is being done
When the first unapproved postings were found on the evening of Oct. 31, 2019, they were removed immediately and campus police were notified. Additional postings were found across campus that night, the following morning and into the weekend. Facilities Management and the Racist and Bias Protocol Committee were also notified.
These flyers were posted in violation of the university posting policy. The Department of Public Safety documented the incident and will use it as evidence if any related illegal activity occurs. Video surveillance is being checked to determine whether any students were involved. If any are identified, the Office of the Dean of Students will contact them to discuss policies and relevant sanctions, and provide education about the background, history and impact of these messages. This is standard protocol for all posting violations.
What to do
University policy sets the requirements for postings on campus. Flyers that are posted contrary to the policy will be removed. You can contact Facilities Management or the University Department of Public Safety (after hours) to alert them of posting violations. More information about the university’s posting guidelines is available here.
- University Department of Public Safety: 801-581-2677
- University Facilities Management: 801-581-7221
The U is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion
The University of Utah strongly condemns bias, discrimination, racism, bigotry and hate in the strongest possible terms and is no place for violence. We support fostering an inclusive campus and are committed to diversity. U administrators want to assure students, faculty and staff that they are dedicated to creating a safe, welcoming and equitable campus where we work together to engage, support and advance a living, learning and working environment that fosters values of respect, diversity, inclusivity and academic excellence.
President Ruth V. Watkins said in a message condemning racism that “The rhetoric used by these groups does not align with or reflect the University of Utah’s values. These cowardly, faceless and non-university sanctioned tactics are designed to disrupt and frighten individuals and communities, and to garner attention for an insidious ideology that has no place on our campus or in our community.”
Students, faculty, staff and visitors who believe they have been the target of bias, intolerance or discrimination may report an incident to the Office for Inclusive Excellence (bias and intolerance) or the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (sexual misconduct and discrimination).