St. Olaf College Republican Group has Promotional Display Defaced by Fellow Students

AP Photo
Pat Eaton-Robb/AP

A group of conservative students at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, had a collection of posters torn down by their peers last week.

A poster display from a conservative student group at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, was torn down last week. The display featured a collection of phrases from students explaining why they were conservative. The phrases included, “facts > feelings,” “I love economic freedom,” “I pay taxes,” and “individualism > collectivism.”

At this week's meeting with Turning Point USA at St. Olaf College our members came up with some reasons they call themselves conservatives. Stop by our display on your way to the library to see them up close!

Posted by St. Olaf College Republicans on Sunday, March 11, 2018

According to an account from student Kathryn Hinderaker published at the College Fix, the display was almost immediately defaced. One poster had been defaced with writing and another had been torn down.

The very next day, one sign with the Second Amendment written on it and another saying “capitalism cures poverty” were torn down. That same day, a female student approached me and said “Nice display!” I replied “Oh, thank you!” in a cheery tone, happy to have reached students I did not know.

“I’m f*cking kidding” she snapped back, and marched away.

A few days later, the display had been completely defaced. Students littered their own posters throughout what remained of the original display, calling the conservative students “asshole(s)” and “racists.”

Dean of Students Rosalyn Eaton sent an email to the St. Olaf’s community in late February, reminding students that altering authorized campus displays constituted a violation of college policy.

“Our policy prohibits individuals from altering or damaging displays that have been authorized for posting. If you believe a posting violates college policy and should be removed from public display, you should contact the Dean of Students Office. You may not take it upon yourself to alter, damage, or destroy another student’s work,” Eaton wrote.

“The college is also committed to allowing members of this community to express themselves, assemble, protest, and voice their dissent while maintaining a safe environment for all students,” she added.

The students behind the original display have submitted a bias incident report on the vandalism.



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