Truman responds to white supremacist posters

Faculty, staff and students at Truman State University received an email Tuesday morning regarding posters promoting white supremacy posted around the Kirksville community.

The email from the Institutional Compliance Office and the Department of Public Safety was intended to inform the Truman community that the University is aware of the presence of the posters, DPS is on heightened alert and students should be safe.

“Truman State University condemns hate and discrimination of any group regardless of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, and national origin,” the email read. “Behaviors that threaten or endanger the lives of our students or any member of our community, whether on or off-campus, will not be tolerated.”

Lauri Millot, institutional compliance officer and Title IX coordinator, said information was brought to her attention, indicating students were concerned for their safety. She said she consulted with DPS Director Sara Holzmeier and they wanted to make sure students and staff understand there is a safety escort service on campus.

Before sending the email, Millot met with the directors of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion and five students from multiple campus organizations, including Student Government, to completely assess the issue. She said President Sue Thomas was also involved.

Millot said the email came from Title IX and DPS primarily because they had expertise in the areas of safety and discriminatory conduct.

“The content of the posters points to protected status, so the conclusion was Sara and I were the best source to address this because our responsibilities are most aligned to the response as well as the issues presented,” Millot said.

She said the role of the University is ultimately to make sure students and staff are safe and feel safe.

Carol Bennett, assistant dean of diversity and inclusion, said the email was what the Institutional Compliance Office could do to inform students that the University cares about their safety. She said while hate speech is present in every community, Truman should let students know their safety is a priority.