CSU: Hate flier stirs outrage, disgust on campus

CSU hate poster draws ire from student body
Published: Oct. 17, 2017 at 3:43 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 17, 2017 at 7:40 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - At Cleveland State University, classmates typically gravitate to the student center.

And on billboards around campus, there are all sorts of fliers.

One in particular talked about gays and committing suicide.

"This campus is supposed to be a safe space that would make LGBT students safe," a CSU student said.

Some were shocked when they saw the flier for the first time,

"It's okay in the terms of free speech, but I don't think it's appropriate for a college campus and everyone should feel equal and welcome here," said another CSU student.

Others couldn't believe it: "It's sad it's pathetic."

Cleveland 19 was told the student body took down the offensive poster, and that they had waited for days for the University to reply.

"Two posters were removed by CSU Facilities Services because proper posting procedure was not followed. Prior approval needs to be provided before posters are added to that billboard...Regarding the event on Thursday, CSU Police will be coordinating security for the event as they do for all large events on campus," said William Dube, CSU's director of communications and media relations.

When does free speech cross the line, asked one student.

"It's a line that the university maybe or just in politics needs to have of what freedom of speech really is but I think more people have to have the common sense not to cause discrimination among other people," said a CSU student.

It's unclear whether the flier is connected to last Wednesday's National Coming Out Day or the opening of a new LGBT Center.

Here was CSU President Ronald M. Berkman's response to the matter:

At Cleveland State University, our foremost priority is maintaining a welcoming environment that provides opportunities for learning, expression and discourse.

CSU remains fully committed to a campus community that respects all individuals, regardless of age, race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation and other historical bases for discrimination.

CSU also is committed to upholding the First Amendment, even with regard to controversial issues where opinion is divided. We will continue to protect free speech to ensure all voices may be heard and to promote a civil discourse where educational growth is the desired result.

Be assured that a spirit of inclusiveness will always be central to the very identity of our University.

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