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Student groups claim ASU is allowing racism, anti-Semitism to exist under 'freedom of speech'

Posted at 7:45 PM, Nov 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-22 21:45:21-05

Leaders from various Arizona State University student organizations such as the Multicultural Solidarity Coalition at ASU and ME[ChA] de ASU say the university needs to take their concerns seriously.

This comes after the groups have been heard by administrators but claim the administration has failed to act.

"In reality, what we are doing is reacting to what is happening," says Alexia Isais, the President of Students for Socialism at ASU.

During Friday's press conference organized by the groups mentioned, ASU personnel were on-hand to listen to the students' concerns.

"This is what we've been asking of him (President Crow) for years to respond when racist incidents happen, and he hasn't," said Zarra Teacola, the representative for Black Lives Matter Metro Phoenix.

The students cited examples of the issues at hand, which include: racist incited flyers posted around campus, protesters showing up on campus, one wearing a shirt saying 'Muslims will rape you."

"These things have all been protected by ASU under free speech," added Teacola.

Teacola also mentioned a picture posted in one of the school's offices depicting a white woman with blackface.

In the spring, the group said ICE and Border Patrol were represented at a job recruiting fair. The university vowed to give students notice when such organizations would be on campus.

But recently, an organization called College Republicans United invited an ICE agent to speak at one of their meetings. According to an ASU spokesperson, that meeting never took place. The students at today's press conference cited outrage in knowing that ASU would allow this representation to happen again on their campus.

"We are calling on the outside community to join us to call on ASU to treat students better, students of color better, and to address the real issue that this is a hostile campus and put resources in place so that ICE doesn't show up on campus making students fear for their life," Teacola said.

Another student representing the Young Democratic Socialists of America at ASU said, "The organization College Republicans United is a white supremacist organization."

Benjamin Cooper says he sees flyers posted around the campus depicting Nazi-like images that push students to join groups that carry a white supremacy message.

"It is not the University of Doug Ducey; it is not the University of the Arizona legislature, it's our university," Cooper said.

"We hope that the university acts on the things we have brought up today because ASU has remained complacent, it has remained inactive, unwilling to work with people of color," said Isais.

ABC15 reached out to ASU for comment and received the following statement:

“ASU is a community that is supportive of all students, regardless of race, gender, religion, or background. Ensuring the safety and security of our students is a top priority, and the university undertakes extensive efforts to ensure student safety is not compromised. ASU welcomes all feedback from students and will always actively listen to student concerns while working quickly to take appropriate action on issues when needed.”