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UW’s position on hateful flyers, graffiti

Students, faculty and staff at the University of Washington and at colleges and universities around the country have seen an increase in racist, neo-Nazi and other hateful flyers being posted on their campuses, prompting questions about what to do if such flyers appear.

Posting flyers anywhere but on authorized billboards and kiosks is prohibited and may constitute defacement of state property. Such posting, which as UW President Ana Mari Cauce noted in a recent blog post, is totally at odds with the University’s values, is tantamount to vandalism and will not be tolerated. Anyone found posting such items on university buildings will face arrest and prosecution.

Students, faculty and staff who see these kinds of flyers may remove them, though it is recommended to contact UWPD to do so. Email to notify them of the date, time and location of the posting/image, and whether or not it was removed.

Hateful flyers or graffiti should also be reported to the UW’s bias reporting tool, which helps the University better track these incidents for investigation. When allegations of hate crimes are reported to the UWPD, their protocol includes sharing that information with the FBI. The FBI considers hate crimes to be the highest priority of its Civil Rights Program and works closely with state and local law enforcement to track and investigate them.

If you’re not sure whom to call, the UW’s Safe Campus team have the expertise to help find the right resources; you can contact them at 206.685.SAFE (7233) or

If anything you see or hear presents an imminent threat to your physical safety or that of others, call 911 immediately.