Racist posters target Chinese community in campus buildings

AddThis

Update (2:48 p.m.): UT President Gregory Fenves announced via Twitter Tuesday morning that the University has identified the student who may be responsible for racist and derogatory flyers that appeared on campus Sunday night.

We identified the student who may be responsible for hateful flyers, are reviewing under hate & bias policy,” Fenves tweeted Tuesday morning.

The flyers, titled “Ethical Lessons to Chinese,” were seen in the Student Activity Center and engineering buildings on Sunday and described a “special” course for Chinese students to learn the integrity of intellectual property and accurate representation on job applications. The flyer claimed that in Chinese culture, it isn’t bad to steal another person’s work or lie on job applications.

As of Monday afternoon, several reports were made to the Campus Climate Team, the University entity that handles bias incident reports, and the flyers were taken down.

Such posters are completely unacceptable,” Fenves said in a statement Monday. “Consistent with UT Austin’s core values, every student, faculty member and staff member who sets foot on our campus has the right to learn, teach and work without fear and without being the object of hate and discrimination.”

Early last month, Fenves announced a new hate and bias incident policy that established punishments for hateful and discriminatory acts on campus, as well as defined actual violent conduct, harassment, threatened violent conduct and verbal harassment. The policy also outlined how students and faculty could report any form of harassment to the Office of the Dean of Students.

J.B. Bird, director of media relations, said this new policy allowed the University to respond to the incident swiftly.

The campus took the flyers down Monday morning and Sunday night, and the President responded Monday morning,” Bird said. “So the University responded pretty fast, which we would not have been able to do without the new hate and bias incident policy, which is meant to try and resolve things really swiftly. You’re seeing a swift response.”

Original post: Racist flyers titled “Ethical Lessons to Chinese” were found on campus Sunday night, making unfounded derogatory comments and offering a fake ethical course on integrity to Chinese students. 

The flyer was seen in the Student Activity Center and engineering buildings on campus and detailed a “special” class, specifically for Chinese students, to learn the integrity of intellectual property and accurate representation on job applications. The flyer made the baseless claim that in Chinese culture, it isn’t bad to steal others’ work and break the law for personal gain.

Xiaolong Sun, post-doctorate research fellow in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, said he was shocked by the news after his friends told him about the flyer.

“I work everyday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.,” Sun said. “I try to make a contribution to this country. That’s why everyone knows America is a great country … We want the U.S. to take care of those things (and not) take the racism.”

Biomedical engineering senior Harvey Li, president of the Chinese Student Association, said he saw the flyer shared on Facebook on Sunday night. Li said he personally thinks it is “crazy” how someone would post something like that.

“There’s always going to be somebody that’s upset who has these feelings of racism to have like ignorance and fear of different cultures,” Li said. “There’s been a lot of anger and sadness that someone at UT would do something like that.”

Several reports were made to the Campus Climate Team, the University entity that handles bias incident reports. In a statement to the University, President Gregory Fenves said the posters are being taken down, and the incident is under investigation by the Office of the Dean of Students in accordance with the hate and bias incident policy recently implemented by the University. 

“Such posters are completely unacceptable,” Fenves said in a statement to the University. “Consistent with UT Austin’s core values, every student, faculty member and staff member who sets foot on our campus has the right to learn, teach and work without fear and without being the object of hate and discrimination.”

Li said he wants to see if the flyers were posted by an organized hate group.

“It’s very difficult to shut down these types of things,” Li said. “These could just be isolated incidents.”

The University is currently seeking information about the source of the flyers.