White Nationalist Group Recruits on Campus
Identity Evropa recruitment posters hang on a UCO bulletin board inside Howell Hall in March 2018. The posters were promptly taken down by authorities after being notified of their unapproved posting. (Provided/Abdulaziz Alqahtani)
Students reported seeing several posters advertising a white nationalist group on the University of Central Oklahoma campus just days before leaving campus for Spring Break.
On March 14, Identity Evropa posted photos on Twitter showing their posters reading “Action, Leadership, Identity” along with their logo on UCO’s campus. Posters were also spotted at University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City Community college, as well as other campuses across the nation.
Identity Evropa classifies themselves as an “American Identitarian organization” intending to create a better world for those with European heritage in America through peaceful cultural change.
University of Central Oklahoma
(Edmond, OK) pic.twitter.com/wDm7I1E6KU
— IDENTITY EVROPA (@IdentityEvropa) March 14, 2018
Patrick Casey, executive director of Identity Evropa, said they hang flyers at universities across the nation to spread awareness of their ideas and recruit.
“We don’t have an official chapter at UCO, but we have many members on campus and in the state [of Oklahoma] overall,” Casey said. “Those members did [hang the posters].”
Although this was the first time the group had hung the posters at UCO, they have been seen at OU Norman campus more than once, bringing media attention and controversy to the university.
According to UCO policy on publicizing posters and filers, UCO organizations must have approval from the UCO Organization Office to post flyers in buildings on campus. All non-UCO organizations must seek approval from the individual building’s captain or dean’s office if they intend to hang flyers or posters on bulletin boards or walls inside buildings on campus. University Communications handles the posting of anything outdoors on campus.
“If they want to post a flyer or any other kind of sign on exterior campus grounds, they must seek approval through my office [University Communications],” said Charlie Johnson, vice president of University Communications. “[Identity Evropa] did not seek approval from my office.”
Johnson said he was made aware of one poster seen outside the Nigh University Center, but has not been made aware of any other flyers posted by members of the group.
“The poster had been removed by someone, a student I believe, and was taken to a faculty member, and that faculty member brought it to my attention,” Johnson said.
Assistant Vice President for University Communications Adrienne Nobles said the university does protect free speech and the right for students to organize, as long as the safety of the campus community can be ensured.
“If a group intimidated or promoted hate toward others on campus, that would likely prevent a group from being able to organize on campus,” Nobles said.
UCO student Abdulaziz Alqahtani submitted an inquiry with the Vista after seeing the posters on the bulletin board in Howell Hall. Alqahtani also reported the posters to the Office of Diversity and Conclusion, who then alerted UCO Police. Once notified, authorities removed the posters.
In addition to hanging recruitment posters, Identity Evropa hangs banners identifying sanctuary cities, creates memorials for those killed by men and women of non-European heritage and advocates to “Keep Traditions Alive” among other efforts.