Someone has been posting flyers promoting a white-supremacist group across the Northern Illinois University campus, Acting President Lisa Freeman informed the community by email Tuesday.
She said the flyers are being removed as they are discovered because they violate the NIU posting policy.
“Hatred is not something that aligns with the principles of NIU,” Freeman wrote.
The flyers, which have been found in at least three academic buildings, promote the organization Identity Evropa, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled a hate group that targets universities.
NIU officials say no one actually was caught posting the materials across campus. Campus police say they are not investigating the postings as a criminal matter, since it’s not against the law to post materials on campus.
Amirius Clinton, chairman of the NAACP’s NIU student chapter, says the posted materials raised questions for students -- like what made the hate group come to the campus and whether they were invited by someone from NIU.
“I think the question is … someone has been feeling like this in DeKalb this whole time,” Clinton said. “Who is it?”
Clinton acknowledges that the hate group does have the first-amendment right to post flyers, but he says many students are scared and perceived the materials as threatening.
“I encourage us all, especially in times like now,” Freeman said, “to embrace civil and respectful discourse and continue to embrace and create opportunities that foster diversity, equality and inclusion.”
Christine Wang, Speaker of the NIU Student Senate, says in researching the group, she found social media posts that were anti-Semitic and called for ethnic cleansing.
“I’m concerned with the fact that they’re targeting us," Wang said. "We don’t want the events that happened in Charlottesville to happen here.”
Wang encourages students to speak up if they witness discrimination.
Freeman also urged students to report any incidents of bias to the Office of Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Threats or acts of violence should be reported to NIU police.
- WNIJ's Victor Yehling contributed to this post