Students get probation for posters

The University punished students involved in a controversial poster campaign with disciplinary probation and a $25 fine each, according to documents given to The Hatchet.

A University Police Department report also revealed its officers stopped and subsequently released students while they were hanging the posters. Student Judicial Services charged nine students with disorderly conduct and violating the University’s postering policy.

On the morning of Oct. 8, the group hung more than 100 posters containing the text “Hate Muslims? So do we!!!” The poster also featured a picture of an Arab man, labeling Muslims with “lasers in eyes,” “venom from mouth” and a “suicide vest.”

Seven students admitted the actions to The Hatchet on Oct. 9. Two others signed confessions with UPD but chose to protect their identity by not coming forward publicly. An SJS report states the students involved met each other through the Campus Anti-War Network, a student organization.

The poster was meant to mock Islamo-Facism Awareness Week, an event organized by Young America’s Foundation, a conservative organization.

Graduate student Adam Kokesh, a prominent anti-war Iraq veteran, said the satirical posters were intended to be overtly racist, according to an SJS report.

“It was act of civil disobedience,” Kokesh told The Hatchet Wednesday afternoon. “We knew we were violating postering policy and we were willing to take the consequences.”

Sergio Gor, YAF’s president, said he was unhappy with the outcome of the judicial proceedings. He added that the students unfairly attacked his group and should be suspended or expelled.

“I think that’s absolutely unacceptable that, once again, we see the double standards that are being applied – because the punishment doesn’t fit the crime,” Gor said.

On Oct. 9, while some of the students were hanging posters at Marvin Center, five UPD officers confronted them and told them the posters were “not appropriate,” according to a police report. The students said they were not affiliated with YAF and one added that he “was just helping the foundation by posting the fliers,” the report states.

At a mediation meeting at Marvin Center several hours after the incident, UPD officers confronted Kokesh because he was a “possible suspect in posting hate material earlier that day,” a police report states.

The officers threatened the use of pepper spray when Kokesh did not comply with orders to stop and identify himself, the report said. He was immediately released.

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