Students at three Vermont colleges reported seeing signs and stickers promoting white supremacist views posted around their campuses this week, New England Public Radio reported.
Officials with the University of Vermont, St. Michael’s College and Champlain College say the offensive signs have since been removed, all three denouncing the racist propaganda.
The first incident occurred at UVM where officials said note cards were left on the Mosaic Center for Students of Color display case. The cards read, “White Privilaged [with Privileged misspelled] And Proud of It” and “Innocent Lives Matter Not Guilty Ones,” according to a Thursday email students received from the UVM Bias Response Team.
Enrique Corredera, executive director of communications at UVM, said the signs were a clear violation of the university’s posting policies.
“We strongly condemn any attempt to make our students of color at UVM feel unwelcome, and we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that UVM is welcoming and safe for all members of our community,” Corredera said in a statement.
Meanwhile, at St. Michael’s College, stickers reading “it’s okay to be white” and “embrace white identity today,” were found across the private campus. Student Melanie Castillo told the Burlington Free Press she received text messages about the signs Thursday night. She and a group of about 15 other students then went around campus documenting the flyers and tearing them down.
“It’s as if as we were taking them down, more were coming up,” Castillo said, noting that, collectively, the group found roughly 20 signs. She and her schoolmates contacted campus public safety and were able to report the stickers to the school’s bias response team.
St. Michael’s College President Jack Neuhauser condemned the signs and said the college is actively investigating the matter.
“Let’s be clear: This wasn’t done in some benign way to suggest equality for all is important,” Neuhauser said in a statement. “According to news reports, this began with a suggestion in an online chat space to seed social disruption and draw allies to white nationalist and alt-right causes.”
Champlain College saw similar stickers, according to a student who said she noticed the signs pop up over the weekend. Katie Hawley, a spokeswoman for the college, told the Burlington Free Press that the flyers have been reported to campus public safety and that faculty members plan to discuss them at a meeting Monday.
Last week, Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo said so far, there’s been no “specific intelligence that points to a white supremacist organization” in the city.