Student forced to remove 'f*** Nazis' sign because college claims it was 'not inclusive'

The anti-Nazi sign was posted after an anti-semitic incident on campus

Sarah Harvard
New York
Monday 24 December 2018 21:06 GMT

The University of Massachusetts at Amherst ordered a student to take down her “F*** NAZIS YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE” sign, because it was not ‘inclusive’ to the university’s student body.

Nicole Parsons, a junior at the university, told BuzzFeedNews that she posted the sign outside her window after a swastika was drawn over a “Happy Hanukkah” sign placard on a resident assistant door earlier this month.

“I thought maybe if I hang the sign up, maybe the person who drew the swastika will see it and see someone condemning their actions, even if the administration doesn’t do it,” Ms Parsons said.

Ms Parsons didn't think the university would have any issue with her sign. However, the university’s resident director emailed the student to request she take down the sign to foster a “respectful environment.”

“While Residence Education cannot force you or your roommate to take the sign down, I am asking that you or your roommate take the sign down so that all students can be a part of an inclusive residential experience, as well as having a respectful environment to be a part of here on our campus,” Eddie Papazoni, a resident director at UMass Amherst, told Parsons in the email.

Ms Parsons said she was astonished by the email.

“I was in absolute shock,” Ms Parsons said. “This email tells me the university cares more about the feelings of Nazis than the safety of their students.”

The university did not yet respond to The Independent’s request for comment.

UMass Amherst, however, did post a statement on its Facebook page, noting that the institution “reject Nazis” but it is “sensitive to the use of profanity.”

“A poorly worded email from Residence Life staff asking students to take down the sign does not reflect the values of the campus, and it should not have been sent,” the Facebook post read. “The university respects the students’ right to display the sign and it may remain up.”

Ms Parsons eventually removed the anti-Nazi sign because her roommate was worried about the attention it may bring to their room and any safety concerns it might bring. Ms Parsons is moving off-campus soon, a decision she made before the incident.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

“This makes me glad [the move is] happening,” she said. “I’m definitely going to hang it in my bedroom. I’m going to keep the sign forever.”

The university launched the “Hate Has No Home at UMass” initiative that is aimed at “rejecting all forms of bigotry and hatred.” Since September, the university documented 19 hate crime incidents on campus.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in