Education

Pro-Trump Chalk Triggers HATE RESPONSE TEAM At State-Funded Wisconsin University

The taxpayer-funded Hate Response Team at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse has strongly criticized a recent campus smattering of sidewalk chalk in support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, calling the chalk messages “discriminatory” and “hostile.”

The messages written in chalk included “All Lives Matter,” “Build the Wall,” “Stop Illegal Immigration,” according to a Facebook post from the UW-La Crosse Hate Response Team.

It’s not clear when the chalk messages appeared on the public school campus.

The April 18 Facebook page from “UW-La Crosse Campus Climate (official)” no longer appears to be an existing post on the UW-La Crosse Facebook page.

However, the post could be found by searching the text on Facebook as of early Friday morning.

“The Hate Response Team is aware of several chalkings across campus that promote Trump 2016, including messages like ‘Build the Wall,’ ‘All Lives Matter,’ and ‘Stop Illegal Immigration,'” the post reads. “While we respect peoples’ right to express their opinions, we also recognize that some communities on campus experience these messages as discriminatory or hostile.”

“All manifestations of prejudice and intolerance are contradictory to our mission as a university. If you experience any bigotry on or off campus, please turn to trusted friends and/or campus resources for support,” the Hate Response Team urges.

The Hate Response Team then explains that students can “file a hate/bias incident” using a handy form. There is a link for the form — “powered by Qualtrics” — but it doesn’t work. “Unfortunately this survey has been closed,” the page at the end of the link says. “Thank you for your time.”

“Again, please remember that members of our Hate Response Team are here to support the individual and collective impacted by hate/bias and to stand up against all forms of oppression,” the last paragraph of the Hate Response Team’s Facebook post declares. “In fact, we believe the university and all people of conscience must raise their voices in support of our university’s shared values of civility, inclusion and acceptance.”

Comments below the posting are interesting.

“TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP,” says Michelle Reed. “I’m not even voting for the guy. I just want to see the little mice scurry. You children are in for a rude awakening the real world has no ‘safe zone.'”

“MICRO AGGRESSION!!!” writes Jim Wilson, sarcastically.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances,” notes Tim Leininger.

On April 4, Trump held a rally at the 7,500-seat La Crosse Center in the surrounding town of La Crosse.

Despite the fact that the La Crosse Center is well over a mile from campus, the event caused considerable angst for many students at the taxpayer-funded school.

The UW-La Crosse Hate Response Team, formed in 2005, “shares the university’s commitment” to “the free expression and exchange of all ideas” and all that. “At the same time, we acknowledge that no campus is immune to larger systemic issues such as racism, homophobia, religious intolerance, sexism, ableism and classism,” the Hate Response Team explains.

The Hate Response Team is composed of no fewer than 8 taxpayer-funded school officials. There’s Nizam Arain, who specializes in affirmative action; Stephanie Brown, a counselor; “Campus Climate” employees Abbi Clauss and Amanda Goodenough; Patrick Heise, who works in the residence life; Barbara Stewart, whose area of expertise is “Diversity & Inclusion”; Will Van Roosenbeek of the “Pride Center”; and Antoiwana Williams of “Multicultural Student Services.”

The enrollment at UW-La Crosse is 10,558 students.

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