COLUMBIA, Mo. — The University of Missouri is warning students, staff and faculty that a white supremacist group appears to be recruiting on and near the Columbia campus.
Chancellor Alexander Cartwright and Provost Garnett Stokes sent a message Wednesday saying the recruiting is part of a national push to gain members by supremacist groups.
“We are aware that white supremacist groups are recruiting on college campuses across the U.S.,” the memo said. “If you become aware of any activity that might violate university policies, please contact the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX,” The Columbia Daily Tribune reported.
The warning comes as the university continues to recover from student protests over race issues in the fall of 2015, which led to the resignation of the University of Missouri System president and the chancellor and brought national publicity to the school.
The memo was sent after university officials saw flyers around campus that read, “Looking for Young Midwestern Patriots.” The flyers displayed what the Southern Poverty Law Center and others say is a neo-fascist symbol.
The flyers are the only evidence officials have that Missouri students are being recruited, university spokesman Christian Basi said.
The university received reports that a flyer was placed on a bulletin board near the MU Student Center and some flyers were posted near bus stops on campus, Basi said.
No one responded to an email to the address listed on the flyer, The Tribune reported.
“We have not seen or heard any direct activity related to recruitment but we are watching the situation very carefully,” Basi said.
The university and state law do not prohibit students from joining outside political groups, including the Ku Klux Klan or neo-Nazi hate groups, because most of the campus is considered an open forum for free speech.
Basi said the university wants any confrontations between people with differing views to remain peaceful.
“If there was an incident, we would engage immediately,” he said.
Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, http://www.columbiatribune.com