Two posters promoting the College Republicans were found defaced Wednesday morning.
Slippery Rock Mayor Jondavid Longo was one of the first people to post on social media about the vandalization. He posted pictures of the flyer and expressed his disdain for the vandalization in a Twitter thread posted Wednesday night.
“This week, SRU’s College Republicans found their flyers vandalized with hateful, inflammatory language. I was saddened to read the words ‘FASCIST” and “SCUM’ plastered on these flyers as both of these terms are so heavily weighed with hate and a dehumanizing energy,” Longo said.
According to Ian Coates, a senior political science major and president of College Republicans, the posters were found in the lobby area outside of the auditorium in Spotts World Cultures Building.
In an email sent Thursday afternoon to university stakeholders, Behre addressed the vandalization of the posters while also referencing two previous incidents of vandalizations: a Black History Month flyer in February 2019 and signs from the President’s Commission on Gender Identity & Expression and Sexual Orientation (GIESO) in November 2019.
“Still, this behavior is unacceptable and needs to stop,” Behre said in his email. “Each of you is reminded that when you choose to attend or work at Slippery Rock University, this means showing mutual respect and appreciation for all persons regardless of age, creed, disability, ethnic heritage, gender, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status or political affiliation.”
SRU President Behre was in attendance at the College Republicans’s routine club meeting during common hour on Thursday. In that meeting, Coates explained that conversations during that meeting were focused on proactive political conversations during this election year.
“We’re trying to find a better way, more proactive way, to discuss politics without taking it so personally or getting into arguments with other people,” Coates said.
Coates added that the College Republicans were satisfied with the initial response from Behre and community members.
“We’re not blaming anybody,” Coates said. “It’s not like it’s an organization going out or that. We see bad examples from this at the national level . . . As a campus and a community here, we need to find a better way to go about our political differences.”
Coates said that the College Republicans will be keeping a closer eye on its posters in the future.