Group sends Anti-Semitic fliers to OSU printers

Gaby Mudd News Contributor

Oregon State University received anti-Semitic flyers through networked fax devices and printers last Friday.

OSU was among several universities across the nation that received anti-Semitic flyers that advocated for white supremacy and discriminated against the Jewish community. More than 20 other universities reported receiving these flyers according to an article written by Nathan Bruttell in the Corvallis Gazette-Times. The posters advocated for a neo-Nazi website called the Daily Stormer and urged readers to “join the struggle for global white supremacy.”

There were two confirmed instances of the posters appearing on campus according to Clay Simmons the interim director of the equal opportunity and access office and a member of the OSU Bias response team.

These flyers were sent through printers that had open IP ports that allowed students to print off campus, according to Simmons. The flyers were printed from machines that were available to the public.

Steve Clark, the Vice President of University Relations and Marketing speaks to the university’s policy regarding the flyer spam.

“This is not an issue about restricting free speech,” Clark said. “We have a policy against spam and the improper use of the university’s equipment and we have restricted this from happening.”

The team received a notification from a unit in Newport that had also received the flyer through their printers, according to Simmons.

Simmons condemned these acts of discrimination on behalf of the university.

“This is nothing that the University would ever support,” Simmons said. “We wish this would not have happened, and we try and limit these things as much as possible.”

The Bias response team is an organization that is setup to respond quickly to any bias or discrimination that takes place on campus. The team investigates these types of claims and makes sanctions for people who have violated the student code of conduct and other policies, according to Simmons.

Simmons spoke about how harassment and discrimination impacts the OSU community.

“Mostly it impacts the people who saw or found the poster,” Simmons said. “I’m not aware of anyone who was significantly impacted by the posters, mostly everyone was just very disgusted.”

Simmons also urged any student or faculty member that was affected by these flyers and is struggling to seek campus resources such as Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) or the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for counseling and support.

Benjamin Barnett, the Rabbi of Beit Am Synagogue in the Corvallis community also detested the posters and spoke out about how these acts impact the Jewish community.

“It’s shocking, it’s frightening and it’s terrifying,” Barnett said. “It is sad and scary for the Jewish community, but unfortunately it is disappointing that this is not the first time we have faced acts of discrimination and that we continue to.”

Barnett also talked about the support from the Corvallis community and the importance of standing together with regard to issues such as the flyers.

“We have a great support system and partners in this community,” Barnett said. “My hope is that everyone will stand by us and continue to stand by us, just as we would stand by anyone who has faced these problems.”

The OSU Administration team speaks out against these flyers and condemns the hateful message.

“Acts of discrimination and harassment hurt and degrade all members of the OSU community,” Angela Batista the Interim Chief Diversity Officer said in the campus wide email. “These fliers do not represent the values of Oregon State University. We categorically reject their hateful message.”

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