University of Michigan Releases to FMI More Records about Alt-Right Poster Campaign

The Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas, Inc., published on its website on March 29, 2017, records provided to it by the University of Michigan which pertain to the university being roiled over Alt-Right posters which keep appearing on campus.  On May 5, 2017, the University of Michigan provided even more records to FMI.  Noteworthy about said records is the following:

  1. On September 27, 2016, Officer Philip Sullens submitted a report about how a resident advisor found “a few pamphlets” which were “immediately discarded into the trash by the RA.  The incident was not reported immediately because the RA was confused about what should be done.”  Officer Sullens also noted that Alt-Right flyers which were hung up on a public posting platform were “not taken down to protect the first amendment rights to free speech.”  Officer Sullens wrote in his report that “the subject, subjects, or group that posted and delivered the flyers is unknown and there is no evidence of a crime.”  Despite there being “no evidence of a crime,” university resources were wasted to investigate what was described to be “a bias poster.”

  2. On October 8, 2016, Officer Mark West submitted a report about “‘Hate’ Flyers that have been showing up around campus.”

  3. On September 27, 2016, Rick Fitzgerald emailed other university administrators a list of all the newspaper articles that had been published about the Alt-Right poster campaign.

  4. On September 30, 2016, a student emailed President Mark Schlissel to relay that “it was very painful to attend race and ethnicity classes that lacked any safe discussion due to the tense circumstances caused by fear of the unknown and fear of offending others.”

  5. On September 28, 2016, President Schlissel sent an email to all students and staff members to describe how “angered and frustrated” he is by the “episode.”  President Schlissel not only feels the “pain” of students, but he feels their “great pain.”

  6. On October 3, 2016, a professor emailed President Schlissel to relay that “while freedom of speech is one thing, hate speech is unconstitutional and an act of violence.”  The professor demands “disciplinary action” against the Alt-Right activists who distributed the posters.

  7. On October 1, 2016, President Schlissel emailed an individual to relay that “It has been a difficult, painful and sad week at U-M.”  He further goes on to apologize for not showing enough “solidarity” with the individuals who were triggered by the posters.  President Schlissel notes that “The campus police have looked for evidence that the group called Alt-Right has any functioning club or association here in AA [(Ann Arbor)] and was unable to find any.  Doesn’t mean they are not here, just that if they are, they are * * * in the shadows.”

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