Senior vice president of student affairs addresses white nationalist materials

Martino Harmon is the Iowa State vice president of student affairs.

Mary Pautsch

After multiple postings of white nationalist posters and propaganda on and off campus, Martino Harmon, senior vice president of student affairs, called the actions “cowardly” and “hate-filled.”

White nationalist posters had started appearing on campus in October of 2016, displaying messages such as, “In 1950 America was 90% white. It is now only 60% white. Will you become a minority in your own country?”

Recently, posters and stickers have shown up on various university buildings, one showing up on Jischke Honors Building reading, “Yield a new generation. Family-faith-folk” with a website URL leading to an Iowa State-based white nationalist group.

In a statement released to the Iowa State Daily, Harmon explains although the posters and stickers placed are protected by the United States constitution, they are still hate speech. 

“What this statement is about more so is the manner in which they’ve been placed and the effect that they have on people,” Harmon said.

The way the white nationalist organizations are going about placing the propaganda is against Iowa State policy, as they were done in the dead of night. 

“Based on statements made by the Iowa State and Ames police departments, the methods used by these vandals could result in charges of criminal mischief,” Harmon wrote in his statement.

Harmon wanted to let the community know the university does not stand with the so-called values the materials present. He cited instead, Iowa State and its community need to focus on promoting the Principles of Community. 

These principles are listed as respect, purpose, cooperation, richness of diversity, freedom from discrimination, and honest and respectful expression of ideas.

“These racists intend to evoke fear, separatism and hatred,” Harmon said. “We will not succumb to their fear mongering. We know that hate-filled messages have no place here. If we persevere and stand by our principles, they will retreat knowing their cowardice and tactics had no impact on this university.”

Harmon suggested in his statement that members of the community who feel unsafe due to these actions report to the Campus Climate website or contact Iowa State police.

Harmon also wanted to make it clear that the postings are also vandalizing campus property, and any sightings of propaganda or information about the individuals involved should be reported to police.

“Not only do I not like what’s being posted, I don’t like the way they are executing it,” Harmon said.

Harmon also encouraged the community to remain resilient in response to the posters. He said Iowa State students cannot let recent events overcome their personal lives.

“Do not let these hate-mongers affect you. They win if they disrupt our daily lives and how we treat each other,” Harmon said. “We will not be distracted or deterred by this small hate-filled group.”

See Harmon’s full statement here.