Students responded immediately after hate-speech filled flyers appeared around the Island on 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 their profile page on the social network Gab. The account was created this month and has a total of 57 followers. According to their profile images, the organization also promotes 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 the profile said.
David Yzaguirre, student and president of Student Activists of TAMUCC, said he discovered the flyers when one of his members sent him pictures of them in the Center for Instruction building on Saturday morning. They found more in Bay Hall, the Center for Sciences and the Dugan Wellness Center. It is believed the flyers were placed sometime between Friday (Jan. 26) evening and Saturday (Jan. 27). Yzaguirre said he does not believe students were involved with the event, based on what is posted on unknown Gab profile.
“What shocks me is it happened in Corpus,” Yzaguirre said. “You don’t think of anti-immigration or fascism here.”
Yzaguirre said his members found three more flyers on Monday, Jan.28 in the Center of Science building.. One was even placed on an Island Waves newsstand. No more have since been discovered.
Yzaguirre said he believes the individual or organization responsible for these flyers intended to intimidate and threaten the international students and recruit new members.
In light of hate speech appearing on the Island, Yzaguirre said the Student Activists organization intends to create events related to keep students informed about these groups and what they stand for.
According to the Vice President of Student Engagement, Don Albrecht, the flyers violated protocol for promotional materials displayed on campus. “The posters were in inappropriate locations. We should have a content neutral philosophy about free speech,” Albrecht said. “We understand this was not done by a university group. We are assuming they are a local group but not students of the university. That’s all we know. They haven’t contacted us or asked for anything. The police have said it was not a criminal act but a violation of procedures.”
However, University Police tell Island Waves that this is an open investigation and have not released any other information at the time of this writing.
Additionally, Island Waves attempted to contact university officials for an official comment. We were directed to the office of the Vice President of Marketing and Communication, who has not responded as of the time of this writing.