White heritage poster at Student Services Building

Police officers removed 15 posters around campus that stated "In these times of degeneracy, this is true rebellion" on Nov. 15, 2016.

UPDATE - WEDNESDAY 5 p.m.: Associate Director of Public Safety Darin Van Ryswk offered an update to the "white heritage" posters found on campus Tuesday, which were originally reported around 1 a.m. in the morning.

Van Ryswk said that posters discovered Tuesday were very similar to the ones reported a few weeks ago, and that the police department is continuing to determine the origins of the posters.

He said that the officers were able to locate 15 posters across campus, with the last poster being retrieved at 3:30 a.m., about 2 hours and 20 minutes after the first poster was discovered.

Most of the posters were hung on different buildings on campus, with one of the posters even being hung on a building sign, Van Ryswk said. 

While a majority of the posters had been found by campus police early Tuesday morning, one poster wasn't retrieved until 10 a.m. later in the day.


ORIGINAL - TUESDAY 10:45 a.m.: Roughly three weeks after the discovery of "white heritage" posters on campus, more were placed around Iowa State detailing a similar message.

One poster that was placed outside of the Student Services Center featured a white family with two parents and three children, with text that reads, "In these times of degeneracy, this is true rebellion."

The previous posters that were found on campus in late October contained messages such as, "White students you are not alone be proud of your heritage," and, "In 1950 America was 90 percent white, it is now only 60 percent white. Will you become a minority in your own country?"

About 20 posters were found at that time.

The original posters were removed because they violated the facilities and grounds use policy, according to Iowa State. The posters may have also violated Iowa State's discrimination and harassment policies

Austen Giles, sophomore in public relations, said that he saw the poster outside the Student Services Center this morning and proceeded to report it to the Dean of Students Office. 

Giles said he was told that there were more "posterings going on this morning." 

Clare Lemke, assistant director of the LGBTSS center, and Brad Freihoefer, director of the center, said they will release a statement via social media in response to the posters. Lemke said that other staff members found similar posters on other buildings around campus. 

Iowa State President Steven Leath issued a statement Tuesday night on the posters:

I am personally disheartened by these posters and upset that they have been found on our campus again. I do not want to give those responsible the attention they are seeking, but I do want the Iowa State community to know that I care deeply about their safety and well-being. These posters and messages of racism, bigotry, and bias are causing students, faculty, and staff to feel threatened and fearful. We will not tolerate this and we cannot let these reprehensible acts divide us. I met this afternoon with administrators and university stakeholders including Multicultural Liaison Officers, Multicultural Student Affairs, ISU and Ames police, and community partners to strategize ways to make our campus safer. We will continue to offer support and call on each other to be in solidarity against hate and discrimination. I am here with you and would like to reinforce the Principles of the Iowa State Community as well as what I said in my video message last week: anyone who feels their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion or political views makes them superior to others is encouraged to find another institution that aligns with their values. Iowa State is not the place for you.

The Daily has reached out to the Dean of Students Office and the Iowa State Police Department, as well, in regard to the "white heritage" posters, but have not heard back from either Iowa State organizations.

The most recent "white heritage" poster spotting also follows a video message from Iowa State President Steven Leath where he responded to the fliers a little more than a week ago.

The video message was namely in response to the students and community members who had felt fear and anguish after the discovery of the posters.

"The posters found on our campus two weeks ago may be factually described as 'white heritage' posters rather than 'white supremacy' posters because they do not legally violate the First Amendment," Leath said. "However, as human beings, we recognize those posters as hateful, racist and bigoted."

The video message was sent to the entire Iowa State community where Leath also discouraged students from discourse that included hate-filled speech.

"Please hear me when I say this — anyone who feels their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion or political views makes them superior to others is encouraged to find another institution that aligns with their values. Iowa State is not the place for you." 

Several students were upset with Leath's message, however, citing that it should have been sent sooner, instead of the email the community originally received just hours after the posters were taken down the first time. 

“I only wish he would have sent this out earlier,” said Maddie Hora, junior in speech communication. “The video still made a movement and will impact campus, but it would’ve done more if it was sent earlier.”

Similar posters have been found across several college campuses in the recent past, including the University of Michigan, University of Oklahoma and the University of Iowa. 

The Daily's Alex Connor, Emily Barske and Nik Heftman contributed to this story.

(1) comment

Luke Skywalker

As person who defended the free speech rights of whoever posted the posters a couple weeks ago, I have to say this is starting to cross a line. What ever party is posting this trash around campus (presuming they are the same group) are obviously cowards. If their cause was legitimate they wouldn't mind the public learning who they are. This particular poster at the Student Services Center is troubling because it seems to be targeted as opposed to just a random splashing of posters. Looks like the work of neofascists/nazis. What a bunch of cowardly losers...the only upside is that it will soon be colder out and hopefully that will deter this...history tells us what nazis do when they get too cold. (Google: Leningrad 1944)

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