The student news site of The University of South Alabama

The Vanguard

Controversial posters found at USA

Students+found+unapproved+signage+at+USA+on+Nov.+15.+
Students found unapproved signage at USA on Nov. 15.

Students found unapproved signage at USA on Nov. 15.

Richard Narramore

Richard Narramore

Students found unapproved signage at USA on Nov. 15.

Marissa Mason, Managing Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Students found posters stating “It’s okay to be white” on several of the academic buildings around campus on Wednesday, Nov. 19.

They have since been removed.

The slogan “it’s okay to be white” originated on an internet site called 4chan when one anonymous user suggested posting signs stating “it’s okay to be white” would garner media attention. According to one anonymous 4chan user, the purpose of the campaign was to incite racial tensions.

Though the movement was scheduled to take place on Oct. 19, the posters were not seen at USA until Nov. 15.

“It’s been said by smarter people than me that the way to respond to hate or bad speech is more speech,” Department of Communication Chair Dr. James Aucoin said. “Good speech. Speech that, in this case, would talk about diversity being a part of our society. I think more speech discussing this issue and the ideas of the people who are posting it and countering these ideas with better ideas is a good way to respond to it…”

Aucoin, whose research has focused on law and journalism continued, “I think the people posting these have a legal right to be heard. I don’t like their message and I think we have a legal right to take them down if we disagree with them because it’s a political act to take them down as well [as put them up].”

USA declined to comment on the specific nature of the signs and cited USA’s free speech policy.  

“The University of South Alabama recognizes and supports the rights of students, employees and visitors to engage in expressive activities in a lawful manner on campus,” Director Communications and Media Relations Bob Lowry stated. “The University’s policy in this regard is to promote the free exchange of ideas and the safe and efficient operation of the University. The University of South Alabama posting policy requires that flyers be approved in advance, that the sponsoring organization be identified and that the flyers be posted in designated areas. Since these requirements were not met, the posters were removed. Visitors violating this policy will be subject to immediate removal or eviction from campus. Students violating this policy will be subject to disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct.”

African-American Student Association President Chelsia Douglas commented on the importance for USA to try to accept one another universally.  

“I also believe it is okay to be you, as long as you accept me for being me,” Chelsia Douglas stated. “We must accept ourselves and those around us in order to build a better America for all citizens and a better USA for all students. As a Jaguar, I would rather focus our attention on initiatives that uplift the student body here at South. Signs that express acceptance of things that aren’t of ‘society’s norm.’ Signs that encourage students to be a better them. Signs that simply state, ‘It’s okay to be YOU.’ Most importantly signs that follow University guidelines and are approved for posting.”

SGA President Carl Thomas Jr. encouraged students to have empathy for each other.

“Our university strives to provide an inclusive atmosphere where all individuals are respected and allowed to express themselves regardless of race, gender, color, age, sex, disability, nationality and religion,” Thomas Jr. stated. “I admonish you to take a walk in your fellow students’ shoes. Let’s take a moment in our day to appreciate each other’s unique qualities and cultures. No matter where we came from, or what our past consisted of, we are all one. Progression is possible when all steps go in the same, positive direction.”

The USA College Democrats denied any involvement and refused to comment on the incident.

The USA College Republicans were unavailable for comment.

To find more information on USA’s free speech policies, check out The Lowdown.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Controversial posters found at USA

    News

    Higher Ed Day participation reduced

  • Controversial posters found at USA

    News

    Health care reform law changes lives

  • Controversial posters found at USA

    News

    Law and Order: Week of Nov. 13

  • Controversial posters found at USA

    News

    Hit-and-run investigation comes to a close

  • Controversial posters found at USA

    News

    Being Black and Feeling Blue

  • Controversial posters found at USA

    News

    Hit-and-run at Delta 5 parking lot

  • Controversial posters found at USA

    News

    Figures encourages USA students to vote

  • Controversial posters found at USA

    News

    Food pantry for students opens on campus

  • News

    Jags join Aubreigh’s Army

  • Controversial posters found at USA

    News

    Parking Ticket Forgiveness Day Nov. 1

The student news site of The University of South Alabama
Controversial posters found at USA