Thanks to the tireless efforts of Campus Security, the Elizabethtown Borough Police and on-campus organizations, the two individuals responsible for the “Identity Evropa” propaganda posts made from Sept. 11-13 have been identified.
Elizabethtown College has said that this white supremacist group’s message does not align with their core value of diversity.
Immediate action was taken to remove these messages from the campus, and an investigation was launched to determine who was responsible.
Wednesday, Oct. 11, the Office of the President released an email to students announcing that the effort to identify those responsible was successful.
Through detailed reviews of Campus Security’s video footage, local authorities identified and interviewed the two individuals. According to President Carl J. Strikwerda, the two individuals had no prior connection with the College community.
They have also been strongly warned by both the College and the local police that their presence on this campus is not welcome. Students may rest assured that these two individuals and their disruptive messages will not be returning onto campus. Campus Security is also implementing increased foot patrols to provide further security for the campus community.
As well as identifying the people responsible for this incident, the College has planned and provided more programs focused on diversity and inclusion for the campus community.
“The conversation is not over,” Strikwerda said in the email.
Strikwerda also strongly encouraged the campus community to alert or contact Campus Security or the Elizabethtown Borough Police if similiar postings or propaganda reappear on campus.
Junior Rebecca Easton has been following the progress of the “Identity Evropa” investigation since the incident occurred. She read the most recent email, and while she appreciates the efforts being made, she said she sees room for improvement even though the incident did not directly affect her.
“I feel like even though they’re sending out emails, there’s a lack of communication about the situation,” Easton said. “And I feel like nothing’s really being done to prevent similar things in the future.”
Easton mentioned similar events on campus, such as the controversial messages written on whiteboards in dorms last year. She said that while the campus has acted on individual events, it is difficult to solve overall diversity-related issues.
“Sometimes I worry that we’re treating the symptom and not the cause,” she said.
First-year Michael Derr-Haverlach has a somewhat different opinion on the matter. Although he has not read the email that was sent out to students, he says that he feels that the measures taken were proportionate to the event.
“I think the current actions are appropriate,” he stated. “You don’t want to respond too heavily to this. People still want to be able to bring their friends family onto campus.”
Derr-Haverlach has also noted that the whole affair has had a positive effect.
“I think it’s increased the awareness of our diversity program, and that there is no place for such groups as ‘Identity Evropa’ on our campus,” he said.
The College will be sponsoring a number of programs on diversity in the coming months as part of this effort.
Among these are sessions such as “Why Identity Matters,” “Indigenous People/ Rights to Resource Protection” and “Critical Cross-Racial Dialogues.”
The next such program, “Indigenous People / Rights to Resource Protection,” will be hosted Tuesday, Nov. 7.