By Claudia Ugbana and John DeGregorio
Interim president Dr. Mark McCormick condemned the message of the national white supremacist group, Identity Evropa, that posted fliers on campus in July and October, in a meeting with student press on Thursday, Nov. 1, because the group’s website promotes racial and religious separatism.
Over the last 4 months, there have been some incidents of Identity Evropa fliers being found by students.
In July, there were two fliers found in West Hall and a single flier posted in a parking lot nearby. McCormick said that these fliers were immediately taken down.
On Oct. 23, there was a flier photographed on a pole in front on Main Hall, and McCormick said he was unaware of that flier until the Oct. 31 issue of Quo Vadis published a photo of the flier.
On Nov. 1, a flier was photographed in front of Main Hall in the same location as the Oct. 23 flier by a Quo Vadis photographer after the meeting with McCormick.
McCormick said that when he was made aware of fliers in July. He looked up the name on the fliers and he immediately had them taken down, because the group is identified as a hate group.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has classified this group as a white nationalist hate group. According to SPLC’s website, the campus-focused group seeks to recruit white, college-aged men, while attempting to intellectualize white supremacy.
“We want to make sure that what we put up on our campus is internal, so that we can determine and approve of it. It’s just not in our values to have hate group fliers on our campus. We are very clear here that you have to ask to post things around campus, unless you’re internal. As soon as student affairs or communications is informed that there is a strange post on campus, we investigate and get it down,” said McCormick.
Vice president of institutional advancement, Michelle Campbell, also spoke on the fliers.
“We want to ensure that the external community or students don’t feel like this is an unsafe place. I think it is important that we consider how it might impact people, as far as how they feel, and if they feel like this is a safe place, and if this is a welcoming place,” she said.
“This upsets us. This is not part of our values system,” said McCormick.
The campus is committed to equality as evidenced by the letter sent out to the campus community by Mark McCormick in the wake of the recent synagogue shooting in neighboring state Pennsylvania.
In an email sent out by McCormick on Wednesday, Oct. 31, following the Oct. 27 shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, he said, “At Middlesex County College, we welcome everyone – as students, employees, community partners and visitors. Our mission is ‘to provide access to a quality, affordable education for a diverse population, to support student success for lifelong learning, and to strengthen the economic, social and cultural life of the community,’ and diversity is one of our core values.”
See President McCormick’s full letter about the Pittsburgh hate crime below:
I know I speak on behalf of the Board of Trustees and the entire Middlesex County College community in saying how horrified anddeeply saddened I am at the unconscionable, despicable acts of violence perpetrated against members of the Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday. Our deepest sympathies go out to the Jewish community and all who mourn loved ones who lost their lives that day. Such senseless acts of violence, inspired by ignorance and hatred of the other, tear at the fabric of our society. Let us all not only condemn such violence but also come together as a community to address the epidemic of hate that perpetuates such evil.
At Middlesex County College, we welcome everyone – as students, employees, community partners, and visitors. Our mission is “to provide access to a quality, affordable education for a diverse population, to support student success for lifelong learning, and to strengthen the economic, social and cultural life of the community,” and diversity is one of our core values. The diversity of our student body and of Middlesex County is one of our greatest assets, strengths, and treasures. MCC seeks to honor the dignity of each and every member of our community. Let us continue to grow in our understanding of and respect for our multicultural environment and cele- brate the amazing richness of our diversity.
As a Middlesex County College student there are many things that make it difficult to keep your focus on academic work. We recognizethat the recent event may have impacted you emotionally and professional counselors are available to assist students who are feelingthe effects of this tragedy. We also have educational and mental health resources that may be useful to the MCC community during thistime. If you would like to make an appointment please do not hesitate to call Counseling Services at 732-906-2546 or stop by EdisonHall room 100 to schedule an individual appointment. Confidentiality is maintained.
Interim President Middlesex County College