UT investigating fliers targeting Asian community

Racist fliers circulating at UT

AUSTIN, Texas -- University of Texas President Greg Fenves announced that school officials have identified the student who may be responsible for posting fliers attacking the Chinese community. 

The fliers were reported to university officials on Monday. 

A viewer sent a picture of one of the fliers reportedly posted on campus. Titled "Ethical Lessons to Chinese," the flier called for a mock course which attacked the community for allegedly copying intellectual property and padding resumes. 

"Maybe they're dealing with the same thing, or maybe they're just like putting their anger on people.  Maybe they're doing it just to target certain people because they don't like them. But I think doing something like that is really cowardly," said Kieu Hyunh, who is the chair of Asian-American Culture Committee. 

"I think it's important for everyone to speak out. I mean these are people moving around in the shadows, so it's the people in the light who need to speak out and say that this is wrong," added UT Research Scientist Maria Person, a member of the university's Asian/Asian-American Faculty and Staff Association. 

Hyunh, who immigrated from Vietnam a decade ago, said she felt the need to speak up on behalf of her friends. 

"I think it's best if the students were to speak up about it. Because I think it gets people to listen the most. It is the people who have experience and the people that are relatable to them," Hyunh added.

Person hoped the incident would spur a much-needed conversation on-campus. 

"I think (the university) is doing stuff for the larger climate issue because that's probably more to the point that there seem to be misunderstandings between diverse groups of people. So, the suggestion would be more dialogue -, this kind of uncomfortable dialogue - that needs to happen when groups are misunderstanding each other," said Person. 

In a statement, President Fenves wrote:

The university received numerous reports last night and this morning of a hateful and biased flyer targeting students of Chinese and Asian descent that was posted in several buildings. Such posters are completely unacceptable. Consistent with UT Austin’s core values, every student, faculty member and staff member who sets foot on our campus has the right to learn, teach and work without fear and without being the object of hate and discrimination. These posters are being taken down. The university is seeking information about who posted them. The incident has been referred to the Office of the Dean of Students for investigation, in accordance with the recently issued Hate and Bias Incident Policy. I am grateful to the scores of UT Austin students who reported these posters swiftly. Their response shows deep respect for their fellow students. Working together, we will make UT Austin a more inclusive, welcoming campus for all.

The student university officials believe may be responsible for the fliers was not immediately identified.

To learn more about the Hate and Bias Incident Policy, click here

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