Higher education

University of Iowa responds to hateful fliers

'Acts of this kind, intended to stir up hate and intolerance, have absolutely no place at the University of Iowa'

The Old Capitol building is shown in Iowa City on Monday, March 30, 2015. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)
The Old Capitol building is shown in Iowa City on Monday, March 30, 2015. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa on Monday denounced a series of “deeply offensive” fliers discovered on and around campus centers dedicated to Latino, Native American, African American and LGBTQ communities.

A resident assistant on Sunday discovered a bulletin board in a residence hall had been vandalized using fliers “with messages that were deeply offensive to some members of our campus community,” according to UI Vice President for Student Life Tom Rocklin.

On Oct. 10, fliers with similarly offensive messages were discovered at or near the UI’s Latino Native American Cultural Center, LGBTQ Resource Center and Afro-American Cultural Center, Rocklin reported. The fliers were immediately removed, and UI officials communicated with members of the affected communities.

UI police are investigating both incidents.

“The messages depicted do not reflect the values of our institution,” Rocklin said in a statement.

“The University of Iowa is committed to maintaining an environment that promotes the robust exchange of ideas,” he said. “We are equally committed to maintaining an environment that recognizes the inherent worth and dignity of every person and that fosters tolerance, sensitivity, understanding, and mutual respect.”

The UI statement encourages a campus that embraces diversity, demonstrates leadership and demands respect “of everyone who uses our shared space.”

In a Facebook post, UI Student Government commented on the fliers “intended to antagonize black, Latino, LGBTQ+ and Jewish people.”

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“Acts of this kind, intended to stir up hate and intolerance, have absolutely no place at the University of Iowa and will be investigated by the appropriate law and policy enforcement agencies,” according to the UISG post. “As students and members of the UI community, we should celebrate the diversity each of us brings to campus and to Iowa City.”

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