A University email was sent out early Wednesday morning notifying students and staff of an incident involving hate group recruiters gathering on campus Tuesday, March 8.
It was not stated what group was present, as to avoid giving them more attention, however, the University Police Department is in communication with the FBI to gather additional information about the group.
“If you see something, say something,” Interim Police Chief Phil Scott said in the email. “Notify the University Police Department to report the incident. It takes the actions of all of us to make our campus community safe and inclusive.”
“We all have a responsibility to speak out and reject messages that seek to create division within our community,” Vice President for the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Meshea Poore said in the email. “It is our responsibility, individually and collectively, to denounce messages of hate and racism, interrupt their practitioners, and help heal the victims of their trauma.”
Students can use the LiveSafe App to upload and report information anonymously. If students are given flyers affiliated with groups such as these and feel threatened, they are also encouraged to call 911 or contact University Police.
Amy LaFollette, a junior art student, feels the tension on campus and doesn’t always feel safe walking to her nightly art classes.
“I feel like the school could patrol the campus areas more frequently with security staff," LaFollette said. "I’ve never really seen security guards anywhere on Evansdale or Downtown campuses, so it would be comforting to see their presence a little more, especially in the evenings when people walk from the Evansdale campus across the road to where they park at the Coliseum."
According to the email sent out, students can learn more about the University’s commitment to equity assurance, report abuse or file a complaint through the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
“To hear there are groups actively trying to cause upset, it’s a little worrisome,” LaFollette said. “Although I’m usually in the art department where people are more open minded, I still feel a bit wary being in a public space where harassment can occur.”
In addition, the email suggested students visit safety.wvu.edu to learn how to report discrimination, harassment, non-emergency threats, hazing, sexual assaults and other student concerns.
When reporting an incident, students should be prepared to provide as much detail as possible to help in an investigation.
“We need to disrupt these discriminatory behaviors by acknowledging they are present and by sharing information on how to report it and where to get assistance,” Poore said. “We have a vibrant, diverse community. It is up to us to defend it against actions that threaten to tear it apart.”