Campus police seek those threatening diversity advocates

SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) -- Police at a Central Texas university want to know who is behind fliers posted on campus that urge formation of "tar and feather vigilante squads" to "arrest and torture" campus diversity advocates.

The fliers posted around the Texas State University campus Thursday morning featured a picture of armed white men labeled "Texas State Vigilantes" beneath a U.S. flag. It professes support for President-elect Donald Trump and Republican majorities in Congress. Aside from the acts against diversity advocates, the flier also urges augmenting a border wall by irradiation with nuclear waste and stocking the Rio Grande with alligators and piranhas. It also urges the sabotage of campus toilets.

Campus police Sgt. Rolando Belmares says at least five fliers were posted around the San Marcos campus before a campus anti-Trump demonstration.

The following statement was released from Texas State University President Denise Trauth:

Dear Texas State University Community:

I am aware of reports of action and expression that have occurred on campus following the recent elections in our country. While we encourage individuals in our university community to openly express their thoughts, we expect them to do so with civility and in a collegial manner that reflects Texas State’s core values. These values include:

• A diversity of people and ideas, a spirit of inclusiveness, a global perspective, and a sense of community as essential conditions for campus life;
• The cultivation of character and the modeling of honesty, integrity, compassion, fairness, respect, and ethical behavior, both in the classroom and beyond; and
• Engaged teaching and learning based in dialogue, student involvement, and the free exchange of ideas.

Actions such as pasting flyers to bathroom mirrors amounts to criminal activity, and our university police are investigating these incidents. Texas State strives to maintain an atmosphere that protects free speech, but one that is respectful to other members of the Bobcat community. Threats absolutely have no place on our campus or in a free society, and anyone who is directly threatened should notify University Police immediately.

I deeply appreciate the desire of our university community to protect and enhance the learning environment of Texas State.

Denise M. Trauth