Controversial Poster Prompts Investigation
Earlier this month, the CSS Standing in Solidarity group hosted a sit-in in the student union to protest President Trump’s new immigration policies. Immediately after the protest was complete, a poster was hung up outside of the student activities office. The top of the poster said “Build The Wall!” In the middle was a drawing of the three flags of North America with walls between Canada, the US and Mexico. Below were two hashtags: #Trump2016 and #Snowmexicans. It did not take long for the clearly controversial poster to gain social media attention.
Junior Jason Chavez-Cruz first posted the poster on Facebook only a few minutes after the protest. The post ended with 54 separate comments, over 230 reactions, and 109 shares. This caused the post to gain attention past the CSS community walls.
“Everyone is allowed to have their own political opinions,” said Chavez-Cruz. Though this poster expressed an unpopular political view on the St. Scholastica campus, that was not the core issue in the situation.
The trigger point on the poster was the last hashtag, #snowmexicans. Many were not quite sure what it meant. Snow mexicans refers to illegal immigrants from Canada. Though it was not intentionally meant to reflect the mexican population, it still came off very offensive to mexicans, immigrants, many students at CSS.
“You are using the word mexicans as a root word, as an adjective to describe that mexicans means illegal,” said Chavez-Cruz. “That’s just hate, and that’s messed up.”
As well as bringing attention to immigration and race issues, the poster led to a discussion on Student Activities.
“All the employees were assumed to be responsible, but it was only one person,” said sophomore employee of the Student Activities office, Madi Valsvik.
The Student Activities offices was cleared of having any direct affiliation with the poster.
“We are all adults,” said Valsvik. “The Student Activities office isn’t here to take away materials from students.”
The poster incident is still under investigation by the Dean of Students, Megan Perry-Spears. Due to conflicting schedules between herself and other employees of the Student Activities, the investigation has been delayed. The student responsible for creating and posting the poster is known, and consequences are being discussed during this time.
“There is a difference between freedom and speech and freedom of consequences,” said Perry-Spears. “We are looking at the intent of the student and the effect that their actions had on the community.”
As there are many clubs on campus that support the liberal views, the conservative voice is often lost on campus.
“I would love it if the CSS Republican club were to activate again” Megan Perry-Spears said. “We could organize debates and talk about these issues.”
Perry-Spears is currently looking through the Facebook comments and reviewing the effect it had on the students. The investigation is expected to be complete sometime this week, and limited information will be shared with the community.