President Wintersteen sends email addressing threats made on Reddit

Jacob Smith

President Wendy Wintersteen sent an email to the Iowa State community in relation to the Iowa State University Police Department (ISUPD) opening an investigation into physical threats made on the Iowa State Reddit page.

The threats “targeted students who participated in a Land Acknowledgement statement made at the Students Against Racism meeting on November 7, 2019,” said Wintersteen in an email.

Wintersteen discussed safety on campus and the legality of the threats.

“[O]ur concern is the safety and well-being of the students who were targeted,” said Wintersteen in an email. “Iowa State Police have reached out and talked to two of the students. They are still working to identify and contact the third student. The university will do everything possible to ensure their safety.”

Associate Vice President and Chief of Police Michael Newton was part of the joint statement with Wintersteen. ISUPD is the primary responder to on-campus threats and can be contacted at 515-294-4428.

“[W]e want the Iowa State community to know that threats of physical violence are illegal and deplorable,” Wintersteen said in an email. “Iowa State Police are investigating the threat, including contacting Reddit to determine if the person who posted the threat can be identified so that they can be held responsible to the fullest extent of the law.” 

The thread has since been locked by the moderators of the page and the user deleted.

User Neth110 said that the thread was created by user CommitSoupOnTheSide and has been deleted now.

The post was a photo of a recent Students Against Racism meeting — which addressed recent controversial events on campus — titled with “We fought for this land and won, and will be more than willing to kill for it again if you try and take it.”

Users commented on the thread, questioning the legality and safety of Iowa State’s campus.

“If this is what it seems to be I feel like someone should report it to ISUPD,” said user TYBasedPhreak.

The comment has since been deleted by the user from the thread.

“Woah, so we are allowing extremely violent racist posts on this sub now?” said user Neth110. “[Original poster] is now issuing a threat of literal violence against people advocating against violence and hate on campus. This is very serious and scary. Please please report this.”

Another now-deleted comment discussed the recent meeting of Student Government where Wintersteen came and listened to students during the open forum.

“This photo is from a students against racism/student government meeting in regards to racist events on campus (Wintersteen was there, it was a big deal),” said Neth110. “OP is a white supremacist threatening literal violence. This is a seriously scary post. This should not be taken as a joke.”