Students responded speedily after hate-speech filled flyers appeared within the Island University on Saturday, Jan. 27.
The flyers were related to the online political movement known as the alt-right and posted by an organization referred to as Border Stormers, an organization who are “making a stand on the front lines of the immigration problem,” according to the organization’s profile page on Gab. The account was created this month and has a total of 57 followers. Profile images of the organization reflect the promotion of ideals traditionally associated with the alt-right including fascism, nationalism and white supremacy.
“The @BorderStormers Team performs this Activism service for the students of Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi campus because we care about their future and science,” a post on their profile read.
Daniel Yzaguirre, student and member of the Student Citizen Activists of TAMU-CC, stated that he discovered the flyers when one of his members sent him pictures of the posters in the Center for Instruction building on Saturday morning. More posters were found in Bay Hall, the Center for Sciences and the Dugan Wellness Center. It is believed that the flyers were placed sometime between Friday evening, Jan. 26 and Saturday, Jan. 27. Yzaguirre further stated that he does not believe TAMU-CC students were involved in the event, based on the content on the organization’s profile page on Gab.
“What shocks me is the fact that it happened in Corpus,” said Yzaguirre. “You don’t think of anti-immigration or fascism here.”
According to Yzaguirre, his members found three more flyers on Monday, Jan.28 in the Center of Science building. Another poster was placed on the newspaper display stand for Island Waves. These were quickly removed and no other posters have been discovered since then.
Yzaguirre said he believes that the individual or organization responsible for these flyers intended to not only intimidate and threaten international students, but also recruit new members.
“We have no need for fascist propaganda on campus,” Yzaguirre said.
In light of the hate-speech filled posters that appeared on the Island, Yzaguirre said that the Student Citizen Activists of TAMU-CC intends to create events related to Alt-Right organizations to keep students informed about these groups and what they stand for.
“They are not republicans,” Yzaguirre said. “They are extremist organizations and they’re hate groups.”
According to the Vice President of Student Engagement, Dr. Donald Albrecht, the flyers violated protocol required for the display of promotional materials on campus.
“The posters were in inappropriate locations. As an institution, we should have a content neutral philosophy about free speech. We understand this was not done by a university group. This is an assumption, however. Our assumptions are that participants are not students of the university but are instead, a part of a local group. That’s all we know. We haven’t been contacted or asked for anything. I believe from media reports, the police have stated that the incident was not a criminal act but a violation of procedures,” said Albrecht.
However, University Police informed the Island Waves Team that this occurrence is an open investigation. No further information has been released at this time.
Additionally, the Island Waves Team attempted to contact other university officials for an official statement but were directed to the office of the Vice President of Marketing and Communication, who is yet to respond to our inquiries at this time.