Outraged when someone drew a swastika on a “Happy Hanukkah” sign at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, junior Nicole Parsons responded with a blunt sign in her dorm window, reported The Boston Globe.
“F--- Nazis. You are not welcome here,” read the sign, reported BuzzFeed. But the university’s response floored Parsons.
A Dec. 18 email from a residence director asked her to remove the sign over “issues of inclusion,” reported The Boston Globe..
“There are some in the community who have expressed that the sign should be taken down as it has created mixed emotions in the community over how to proceed, issues of inclusion, and the ability to be active members of their community,” reads the email from Eddie Papazoni, reported The Daily Hampshire Gazette.
Papazoni concedes the university cannot order the sign’s removal, but asks Parsons to take it 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,” according to the publication.
Parsons told BuzzFeed she was “shocked” by the response. “This email tells me the university cares more about the feelings of Nazis than the safety of their students,” she said, according to BuzzFeed.
In a Facebook post, the university said the email was “poorly worded” and “should not have been sent,” adding that Parsons may leave the sign up.
“UMass Amherst emphatically rejects Nazis, and any other hate group, a view expressed in the students’ sign,” the post reads. “However, we are sensitive to the use of profanity, which some could find inappropriate.”
Parsons accused the university of throwing Papazoni “under the bus” instead of changing its policies, reported the Gazette. “It’s nice of them to make a statement... but I’ll continue to be angry until they actually do something about it,” she said.
Parsons ultimately removed the sign after her roommate “was concerned about the attention,” but plans to move off campus and replace the sign, reported BuzzFeed.