Update at 12:53 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 13 – Kansas State University released the following email statement to the Collegian in regards to the white nationalist posters put up on light posts around campus Wednesday morning:
8570 and 3045. K-State does not regulate posters based on viewpoint, in accordance with the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, but can impose content-neutral time, place and manner restrictions.”
According to campus publicity regulations, “No notices or posters may be placed in places other than on designated bulletin boards in campus buildings without the approval of the Division of Facilities, 109 Dykstra Hall.”
The statement said the university will follow all laws and stick with its policies regarding publicities on campus.
The posters were largely gone Wednesday afternoon. Cindy Hollingsworth, director of K-State News and Communications, said she did not know if university officials had been involved in taking down the posters.
Hollingsworth also said the university had not seen evidence to confirm a rumor circulating social media Wednesday morning that some of the posters had razor blades behind them.
Student body president Jack Ayres responded to a tweet on Twitter, stating that the Student Governing Association is working on a response and a possible demonstration to be held Thursday.
SGA is working on a statement and plans for a demonstration tomorrow, both to be released soon. Absolutely NO place for this on our campus.
— Jack Ayres (@jmayres96) September 13, 2017
The K-State community awoke Wednesday morning to several posters placed overnight on light poles and other fixtures across campus.
Reports of the posters — which link to TheRightStuff.biz and AltRight.com, two websites linked to the alternative right, a self-described movement which promotes and calls for white nationalism in the United States — started coming in to the Collegian at about 9 a.m. Wednesday.
One poster, found at a crosswalk between the Kramer Complex and Ackert Hall, makes the claim that “diversity means less white people.”
K-State Police was unaware of the postings when reached at 9:44 this morning.
Seth Peery, sophomore in biochemistry, tweeted a photo of one of the fliers he saw after leaving the Kramer Dining Center for his 8:30 class in Ackert Hall.
White Nationalist garbage on K-State's campus pic.twitter.com/QkKGRBygxd
— Seth (@sethpeery) September 13, 2017
“There’s been mixed reactions to it, even immediately,” Peery said. “Some people [are] saying that they should be taken down because of free speech, and we should let the college handle it. But I think in instances like this, inaction is not an acceptable response.”
The posters come weeks after the university officials released a statement on the university’s commitment to the freedom of speech.
A representative from K-State Division of Communications and Marketing said a university official would speak to the Collegian about the incident later today.
Earlier this semester, the University of Missouri’s Columbia campus underwent a similar incident, and university officials responded with a memo sent to students warning them of white nationalist recruitment efforts, according to the Kansas City Star.
The Collegian will update this story as we receive more information.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article referred to the posters as promoting white supremacy. The Collegian has updated the article to refer to the posters as promoting white nationalism.