Students voice anger over removed posters

Members of the Arab Student Association said they are upset flyers they posted in campus buildings were torn down and shredded. But they said they do not know who is responsible.

Junior Nizar Wattad, a member of the ASA who posted many of the flyers, said ASA members posted 400 flyers Wednesday in various campus locations, including the Academic Center and Funger Hall. They also gave some of the flyers to the Community Living and Learning Center to post in residence halls.

But by Friday most of the posters had been removed, Wattad said.

It’s incredibly frustrating, seeing our hard work destroyed like that, Wattad said. It’s a feeling of helplessness.

Some of the posters advertised a national rally held in D.C. Saturday by several Islamic organizations. They included the GW logo and the names of the ASA and International Socialist Organization, which sponsored the event.

Another flyer, which was posted only in the Academic Center and did not include a GW logo or student group’s name, presented a statement of fact about the history of land occupied by Israelis and Palestinians, Wattad said.

Rafid Fadul, president of ASA, said posting flyers is one of the few ways for Arab students to get their message out.

It’s a disappointment that the minority opinion is not given an outlet, he said.

Mike Gargano, assistant vice president for Student and Academic Support Services, said he is unaware of any specific University policies that limit posting flyers in the Academic Center – unlike in the Marvin Center and residence halls. Flyers posted there must be approved by University officials and must have a University logo.

Some members of Muslim, Jewish and Arab student associations showed disagreement earlier this month over outbreaks of violence in the Middle East.

Sam Caplan, president of the Jewish Student Association, said the JSA does not sanction removing other organizations’ flyers.

We don’t encourage it and we think it’s a shame that anyone’s message is not allowed to be heard or read, whether it’s the MSA, ASA or . anybody’s posters, Caplan said.

Caplan said the JSA has not posted flyers addressing the conflict in Israel.

Wattad said he met with Karen Krantweiss, Hillel director of student activities, Friday to discuss the situation.

Krantweiss said Hillel is trying to work with Arab and Muslim campus groups and does not condone tearing down other organization’s posters under any conditions.

Wattad said many Arab students are growing frustrated with the removal of their flyers.

You shouldn’t have to be afraid of your fellow students, he said.

Fadul said incidents like this can cause discord on campus.

We’ve been lucky there hasn’t been a flaring of tensions, but when something like this occurs it’s like a slap in the face, he said.

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