CONWAY—A flier reading “IT’S OK TO BE WHITE” was posted on the business school and other locations at Coastal Carolina University’s campus this week, and some students felt the message was racist.
A picture of the flier was posted by the school’s Social Justice Research Initiative on Facebook. In the post, the university department wrote that the messages had been posted on the Wall Building and other places around campus on Monday.
“Freedom of speech,” Alicia Franchi, a student, said simply when told about the postings.
But others, like senior Jade Williams, found the message offensive.
“There is slight racism, inadvertently, on campus,” Williams said.
Jakayla Bailey, a junior, said some students at CCU do express the idea that white culture is ignored. “They feel like it gets crowded out by everything else,” she said.
Martha Hunn, a spokeswoman for CCU, could not confirm when the fliers were posted.
“It appears to be part of a national social media campaign. All signs posted on campus must first be approved, according to university policy. These were not and were removed, in accordance with the policy,” Hunn wrote in a statement.
University police are investigating and reviewing security footage, license plate readers and a photo of a person who may have posted the papers, she said.
Postings with the same message have been spotted at schools around the country in the past week, including Tulane and Harvard universities, according to media reports. The Washington Post reported the messages were part of a campaign that started on the online forum 4chan, as white nationalists sought to use the message to recruit people to their ideology.
Racial tensions have flared at another school in the state recently. Clemson University’s student body vice president, Jaren Stewart, narrowly avoided being removed from his position after an 11-hour trial. The proceedings began after a blog published documents saying that Stewart had been charged for trespassing.
Stewart, who is black, had taken part in protests on campus modeled after the actions of NFL players protesting police brutality. He said the attempt at removing him had racist undertones.
An alt-right recruitment flier was also found on Clemson’s campus in late October, according to reports from the Anderson Independent Mail.
At CCU, many students said they had not seen the fliers or the Facebook post that showed one on the Wall Building. Williams was surprised she had not heard about the postings before being told by The Post and Courier.
After a white supremacist rally turned violent in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this year, the president of CCU sent out a message to the student body touting inclusion, Williams said.
But she said the administration had not told students about the fliers.
“I would think something like that would be viral quick,” she said. “Why are you trying to keep it on the hush, you know?”
Reach Chloe Johnson at 843-735-9985. Follow her on Twitter @_ChloeAJ.