WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Some Purdue University students are taking action after white supremacist posters were found on campus Wednesday. On Thursday, a group of students with the Purdue Social Justice Coalition and other campus organizations hung new posters in response to the group American Vanguard.
“If you have an environment where fascism and white supremacy is an OK thing and that more and more people are joining up, that’s not a safe environment,” said Brianna Cheesman, a Purdue student. “We want to stop it before it gets big.”
As News 18 previously reported, President Mitch Daniels first released a statement Wednesday, saying he refuses to give the group the attention it does not deserve.
The Purdue Social Justice Coalition then held an emergency meeting to demand a stronger response from Daniels.
He wrote to the Purdue community on Thursday, saying his words may not have been harsh enough for some and that’s fair.
Daniels’ statement continues, “But Purdue University’s opposition to racism in all its forms couldn’t be more clear, both from yesterday’s statement and a host of others that preceded it. No action by a self-promoting fringe group can do anything to change that; in fact, it only furnishes another opportunity to underscore our commitment to equal access and opportunity, inclusion, and respect for all people.”
Some students who hung up new posters Thursday night said they still aren’t satisfied with the second statement.
“He’s very vague about everything he says … and yet, he has never actually called out that racism is a negative thing that we don’t want on campus, that racism is actually present on campus,” Cheesman said.
Despite the second statement from Daniels, the Purdue Social Justice Coalition still plans to hold a demonstration Monday on the steps of Hovde Hall at noon. Organizers said the demonstration will focus on actions the University can take to be more proactive.