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USF students upset to find white supremacist fliers on-campus

Posted at 11:14 PM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-21 06:21:39-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Students at the University of South Florida say they found racist fliers next to the Student Services office where fliers are usually posted, but because this is a free speech campus the administration says there's not much they can do about it.

"Even hearing about it, it's crazy because you almost don't want to believe it,” said USF Senior Alliyah Edwards.

Not at USF, where students Alliyah Edwards and Salud Martinez, say they feel safe expressing who they are.

"I'm pretty surprised just because USF does have such different values than that. I wouldn't see that having any support on this campus,” said USF Junior Salud Martinez.

The fliers promoted a white supremacist group called "Patriot Front." The hate group is connected to the deadly "Unite the Right" protest in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The group is also linked to three men arrested just last week on weapons and assaulting an officer charges while posting racist fliers in Boston.

"My goal is to flood the campus with the message of love over hate,” said USF’s Dean of Students Danielle McDonald.

This is the inclusive campaign, “Love over Hate”, USF's Dean of Students launched early this year before the other fliers even showed-up.

"There are people who have different view points so we just want to make sure that students never have to wonder what is USF's viewpoint. They know they are included,” said McDonald.

McDonald says the white supremacist fliers have been sparse and sporadic and are far outnumbered by these “Love Over Hate” buttons students are wearing on campus.

"I would hope that whoever put it up realizes that we are unified so you can believe what you want but there's more people who believe in the right thing than the wrong thing,” said Edwards.

That's the message these students hope will prevail.

"Honestly, I probably would just take it down, report it. Let faculty and staff know,” said Martinez.