The University of Massachusetts-Amherst asked a student to take down a sign that said “Fuck Nazis. You are not welcome here” because it wasn’t inclusive.
Nicole Parsons recently put up the sign on her window, which read “F*ck Nazis you are not welcome here,” after getting tired of her university’s silence towards hate crimes on campus, as per BuzzFeed News on Dec. 23.
Parsons said in the report that she was compelled to put up the sign after a “Happy Hanukkah” sign on a resident assistant’s door was vandalized with a swastika early this December.
“I thought maybe if I hang the sign up, the person who drew the swastika will see it and see someone condemning their actions, even if the administration doesn’t do it,” Parsons was quoted as saying.
She, however, was surprised when she received an email from residence director Eddie Papazoni telling her to take down her sign.
“Though this sign is permitted under Freedom of Speech, I would also like to discuss the impact on the community that this sign has had,” wrote Eddie Papazoni to Parsons. “There are some in the community that have expressed that the sign should be taken down as it has created mixed emotions in the community on how to proceed, issues of inclusion, and the ability to be active members of their community.”
Papazoni admitted that Parsons could not be forced to take the sign down, but he asked that she do it anyway “so that all students can be a part of an inclusive residential experience, as well as having a respectful environment to be a part of here on our campus.”
“I was in absolute shock,” Parsons told BuzzFeed. “This email tells me the university cares more about the feelings of Nazis than the safety of their students. I thought maybe if I hang the sign up maybe the person who drew the swastika will see it and see someone condemning their actions even if the administration doesn’t do it.”
The university, meanwhile, has taken to their official Facebook account on Dec. 21 to address the issue. As per their post, the residence director’s “poorly worded email” that “should not have been sent” does not reflect the university’s values.