Cal State Long Beach officials have contacted the FBI following threats made against members of La Raza Student Association, as well as Jewish students.
Campus police are also investigating the threats, which were made over the Internet and in the form of antagonizing fliers posted around the school’s Multicultural Center.
Campus President Jane Close Conoley confirmed the investigations in a mass email sent to school employees and students on Wednesday. Her message did not provide extensive details on the threats, which Conoley wrote are also a priority matter for campus police.
“While one of the great strengths of our democracy is that free speech — which includes ‘hate speech’ — is protected under the First Amendment, direct and credible threats of violence are not tolerated,” Conoley wrote. “University Police will immediately intervene to protect our community from harm.”
Conoley’s advisory follows Tuesday’s coverage in the Daily 49er, the campus’ student newspaper, that a man posted a death threat involving a claim to shoot officers of La Raza Student Association on the organization’s Facebook page.
Student group officer Asia Gonzalez said in a telephone interview that she saw the threat while checking her phone, as well as commentary including racial slurs against blacks and Latinos. Another comment declared the commenter’s intention to target a faculty advisor.
“A lot of the officers have been feeling very anxious,” she said. “We don’t want to be in the center alone.”
La Raza Student Association formed in 1968. The group describes its mission as including work to educate students about Latino culture and political organizing.
The Daily 49er also reported that fliers bearing the image of Adolf Hitler and the slogan “finish what he started” appeared at the campus’ Multicultural Center on Sunday.
Campus officials confirmed the discovery of a flyer bearing such an image at the center.
There are at least three other occasions this year, having occurred in winter or spring months, when fliers advertising white supremacist groups appeared on the Long Beach campus.
Lt. Richard Goodwin of the campus police department said in an email that no arrests have been made as of Thursday afternoon. He also asked for people at Cal State Long Beach to report racist fliers whenever they are found on campus.
“These posters appear to be placed to provoke an emotional reaction,” he said. “However, we would be remiss if we just looked at them as an object placed to provoke a reaction. Our position here is to provide a safe and peaceful environment with which to facilitate the education process. This is why these cases are investigated to the fullest extent.”
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to report the correct days of the week of the Daily 49er’s news coverage and the status of the police investigation.