Ripon Falsely Accused of Banning Student Posters

September 4, 2018

Ripon College was falsely accused of banning posters depicting terrorist acts, the Associated Press reported. Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), a national conservative student organization with a chapter at the Wisconsin college, planned to put up posters with images of terrorist acts, including the beheading of American journalist James Foley, the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando and the attack on U.S. compounds in Libya.

When the posters -- provided by the Young America’s Foundation, YAF’s parent organization -- were on display last year, Ripon’s bias incident response team received complaints from students that the posters were “offensive and distasteful.”

After YAF and Young America's Foundation publicized the dispute at Ripon, media outlets incorrectly reported that the student group was punished for or banned from putting up the posters. Melissa Anderson, a spokeswoman for Ripon, said that wasn’t true.

“There was no ban,” Anderson told the AP about the posters. “The meeting did not result in any action."

Anderson said the college did speak with YAF about complaints that it has received in years prior and suggested that the group modify the posters or create some of their own. In an email provided to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Ed Wingenbach, dean of faculty, wrote to Christopher Ogle, dean of students, that "as things currently stand, YAF can (and I suspect will) put up the same posters again."

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