Flyers targeting people are dangerous

Students+spoke+at+the+ASWSU+meeting+regarding+a+resolution+in+support+of+undocumented+students+on+Feb.+22.

Students spoke at the ASWSU meeting regarding a resolution in support of undocumented students on Feb. 22.

RIDGE PETERSON, Evergreen columnist

Flyers asking people on campus to report undocumented persons to Immigration and Customs Enforcement appeared at WSU two weeks ago. Pullman was not the first college campus to see such flyers during President Donald Trump’s first month in office.

Nearly identical flyers were found at the University of Texas, according to The Spokesman-Review. Earlier this month, Penn State also reported posters on university bulletin boards urging students to report undocumented persons.

In some of these incidents around the country, such as the one at UT Austin, flyers supporting a “Muslim-Free America” accompanied those targeting immigrants. These flyers were later tied to a white-supremacist group called American Vanguard, according to The Spokesman-Review.

These flyers are inappropriate and offensive. They have no place on a college campus, and seek to demonize immigrants as America’s enemies. Furthermore, they represent a political climate of xenophobia and ignorance.

Several student groups already stand against these messages. Gavin Pielow, President of the Young Democrats at WSU, condemned the anonymous flyers.

“These appalling and horrific fliers have shaken pride on campus and wobbled trust in our regional community,” Pielow wrote in an email. “We are troubled that this harassment will breed an unsafe, oppressive, and thoughtless campus.”

Crimson Group is an organization with the mission to provide support to help undocumented students succeed at WSU. Carolina Silva, a graduate student studying education at WSU, is student advisor for Crimson Group.

Silva said she was “not surprised” by the flyers, given the political attitude in America, and stressed that the flyers are indicative of a larger increase in anti-immigrant prejudice. “It’s more about the climate,” she said.

The campus had been unsafe for undocumented people for some time, she said. She hopes President Kirk Schulz will take more action in defense of WSU students. Silva said students should seek to educate themselves about Crimson Group and their mission in order to be allies to undocumented Cougs.

There is a wave of hostility and intolerance toward minority groups in America right now. These anti-immigrant flyers are only the tip of the iceberg. We must make a stand against this attitude and take meaningful action to protect those who are persecuted.

Anything that seeks to demonize our fellow Cougs has no place at WSU. We need to work together to make a campus that is welcoming to all.

Ridge Peterson is a junior marketing and economics major from Woodinville. He can be contacted at 335-2290 or by opinion@dailyevergreen.com. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the staff of The Daily Evergreen or those of The Office of Student Media.