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Anti-Semitic graffiti found on Ethnic Studies flyers

Photo courtesy of Facebook · CLAS encourages all students to attend Ethnic Studies events.

The university denounces racism on campus

On January 30, CU Denver’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) students received an email acknowledging an instance of anti-Semitic graffiti on flyers posted around campus. The targetted flyers were those of the Ethnic Studies Department event, “Let’s Talk.” 

According to Dean of Students Brittany Bohl, the flyers were desecrated with a handwritten phrase: “it’s okay to be white” and an anti-Semitic symbol. There was also a parody flyer advertising “white studies” and listed a series of fake lectures with anti-Semitic and white supremacist themes. It alluded to European history in a pro-Nazi context.  There are currently no suspects or people of interest, and the investigation has not given any information to prove a group of people or a single person was responsible. 

After the incident, the email stated, “unapproved flyers were found with white supremacist and anti-Semitic symbolism and messages. These actions continue to be investigated by the Auraria Police and our Office of Equity.”

Beyond describing the incident, the email also included a strong stance from CLAS in regards to the university’s stance on asituation such as this. The full statement reads as follows: “CU Denver will not tolerate or excuse racism, anti-Semitism, and other discrimination. These actions threaten and cause harm to minoritized populations on campus and to the scholars on campus oriented around the study of minoritized group experience.

 “CU Denver is committed to diversity, inclusion, equality, and advancing social justice. We will continually reinforce this commitment even as we recognize that there is much work ahead to ensure that these values permeate our campus culture.”

After highlighting the importance of the Ethnic Studies department and encouraging all students to attend one of their events, the notification concluded with, “Please join us in starting the spring semester by denouncing racism and championing respect and inclusion on our campus.” 

Bohl also stated that CLAS and CU Denver have been taking extra measures to ensure the safety of their students. Higher security has been enforced on flyer posting and individual schools and colleges, such as CLAS, are expected to be more vigilant with their flyer policies. Having diversity and community as key values of the university, CU Denver also encourages the entire community to be open-minded and fully embrace students of different ethnicities. 

CU Denver will continue to hold Ethnic Studies classes and events, continue to have campus-wide discussions on racism, and encourage students to attend the chancellor’s Diversity Dialogue. These speaking events center around one aspect of diversity and how it can be encouraged on the Auraria Campus. Dates of upcoming Diversity Dialogues will be announced soon. 

Beyond the university’s response, the student group Auraria Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) have been working with the Youth Liberation Front and a few other organizations to plan an anti-racism event. Dates for that will be announced soon. 

To learn more about the Ethnic Studies Department’s upcoming events, visit their office in Plaza Building Suite 102, or contact them at ethnic_studies@ucdenver.edu.

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