White Supremacy banner, stickers posted on U of U campus, school President responds

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The University of Utah President responded after a banner from a white supremacy organization was found on the George S. Eccles Legacy Bridge on Saturday. 

According to a statement on the schools website, President Ruth V. Watkins said the organization responsible “espouses white supremacy”. 

Watkins also said they found several stickers from a different hate group were found around campus during the week.

The Anti-Defamation League describes both of these groups as white supremacist organizations focused on the preservation of white American culture and promoting white European identity.

In her statement, Watkins said  that while their campus is an open forum where individuals may express their views, the rhetoric used by these groups does not align with or reflect the University of Utah’s values.

“These cowardly, faceless and non-university sanctioned tactics are designed to disrupt and frighten individuals and communities, and to garner attention for an insidious ideology that has no place on our campus or in our community,” said Watkins.

Just last week the University of Utah celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“We were reminded of the importance of a collective voice against racism, bigotry and hate,” said Watkins. “At the University of Utah, we value free speech and the diversity of ideas, but we also have an ethical obligation to call out hateful speech when we see it.”

Facilities personnel, law enforcement and student affairs staff will remove any postings immediately when they are discovered.

Watkins said she also asked the Office of the Dean of Students and the Office of Equity and Diversity to help the campus respond to and monitor actions like these.

“I encourage all of us to engage in respectful dialogue that will enable us to work together to learn, grow, innovate, challenge and build a better future,” said Watkins.

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