Hate group condemned after posters found on campus
University at Albany’s Student Association passed a resolution Wednesday formally denouncing the white nationalist group Identity Evropa after at least 25 unapproved posters and stickers from the group were found across campus.
On Sept. 15, students reported seeing several posters from the neo-Nazi group hanging on the Academic Podium and on Western Avenue.
One sign had a message reading, “FREEDOM OF SPEECH? NOT IN NEW YORK,” alongside an image of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Another showed a young blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl holding an American flag with the caption, “Thank you Customs and Immigration enforcement.”
The posters were not approved by the university.
Identity Evropa, the organization responsible for the postings, often target college campuses to spread its message.
The group has been identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.
Their following is small, consisting of only about 300 members nationally, but large enough to be actively involved during the riots in Charlottesville, NC last August.
The posters sparked unrest among students and were removed not long after first popping up by students such as Jamus Socker, a member of the UAlbany College Democrats.
“I felt shocked, shocked that this group would be bold enough to post its propaganda on our campus,” Socker said, “I knew what the group stood for prior to this whole thing, so I just felt incredibly angry.”
On Wednesday, SA passed a resolution denouncing the postings and the group responsible and called on university administration to do the same.
Senators-at-Large Alline Alvarez and Alexia Holden drafted the proposal which had 11 co-sponsors.
The resolution passed unanimously.
“We want that group to get the message that they’re not invited here,” Holden said.
It is unknown whether the posters were placed by a student or an outside entity, however, the senators worry this is an attempt by the hate group to gain more followers.
Both Sen. Alvarez and Sen. Holden hope to create an open conversation between SA and the student body regarding Identity Evropa.
“Students need to know what’s going on,” Alvarez said.
UAlbany is a diverse campus with 48.2 percent of the 13,598 undergraduates enrolled being being non-white students, according to an official university report.
A total of 5.2 percent of the undergraduate population falls under the classification of international students and UAlbany maintains a position supporting DACA, with a notable population of “dreamers” enrolled.
”We are committed to fostering a climate that celebrates our individual differences and in which everyone is welcome and feels welcome, University President Havidán Rodríguez said. “We will accept nothing less.”
Nick Sherman contributed reporting for this article.