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Build the Wall UW-L Graffiti

A chalk message discovered Monday morning on the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse campus supports presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Pro-Trump political messages — and the campus’ official response to them — have upset a number of students at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

The UW-L Hate and Bias Response Team received eight complaints Monday about political chalkings on sidewalks on the UW-L campus that seemed to support Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. The messages included, “Build the Wall,” “All Lives Matter” and “Stop Illegal Immigration.”

At 7:45 a.m. Monday morning, the Research & Resource Center for Campus Climate posted a response to the incident, saying on its official Facebook page that the response team was aware of the chalkings. It also provided a link to the hate and bias reporting system, and said manifestations of prejudice and intolerance are contradictory to the university’s mission.

“While we respect peoples’ right to express opinions, we also recognize that some communities on campus experience these messages as discriminatory or hostile,” read the message, which was still on the Facebook page at 1:30 p.m. Thursday but was soon taken down.

The tone has upset a number of students on campus, including those who support Trump or feel like the university has taken a stance against free speech. Ben Stelter, a UW-L student and chairman of the College Republicans, said students have a right to be concerned.

“It is not right the university should say that,” Stelter said. “They should promote all free speech regardless of the viewpoint.”

Similar chalking incidents have occurred on other campuses across the United States in recent weeks, resulting in student protests. At private Emory University in Atlanta, messages supporting Trump chalked on the sidewalk resulted in students protesting outside administrative offices with chants including “You are not listening! Come speak to us, we are in pain!” Students interviewed by the Emory student newspaper, The Emory Wheel, said they felt afraid and unsafe on campus as a result of the chalkings and demanded a response from university administration.

UW-L’s policy on publicity permits chalking on campus sidewalks, but not on sides of buildings or in front of entrances. Abbi Claus, the program coordinator for the Campus Climate Office and a member of the response team said students countered the chalkings with messages of their own, including “Diversity makes America Great,” erasing some of the pro-Trump messages from the sidewalks, or writing counter messages next to them.

“They let people know that not everybody has the same viewpoint,” she said. “They let people know that these messages impact them.”

Stelter said he believes personnel in the Campus Climate office are not friendly to free speech on campus. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which has a red, yellow and green light rating system for colleges policies affecting free speech, has given UW-L a red light rating, its worst, for policies including the office’s bias and hate reporting system.

Stelter said the university should take a firmer stand promoting and protecting students Constitutional right to free expression.

UW-L Chancellor Joe Gow said that the statement by Campus Climate was not the official position of the university, which does not take any stance on the presidential candidates or political speech. He said he has received a number of emails from students concerned the university was taking a stance against their political views and has responded to each one.

“My feeling is we should be having more debate on on candidates’ positions on things like immigration,” Gow said. “And the university is here to facilitate that dialogue, but not to take a side.”

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Nathan Hansen has been the Education Reporter for the Tribune since 2014. Prior to that, he covered education, agriculture and business topics for the Winona Daily News. He is always on the lookout for news tips and can be contacted at 608-791-8234.

(52) comments


This article is just too pathetic (both subject matter and the way it is written).

Is this a diversion from the death on campus last week?


What a pack of fools that are running UWL.

Walker needs to cut deeper. There are obviously a few more positions that are fodder for the chopping block if they have time to spend on this stupidity.

What next, chubby students offended by stick people chalked on the sidewalk by 6 year olds?


Isn't it obvious how coddled this generation of easily offended cry babies is? We will now need new UW chalk police and chalk janitors to wash away whatever some yayhoo decided to do with their unproductive free time. They'd better budget at least $100,000/yr. salary per position with full benefits, state worker pension, and make it a tenured position to boot. What's next? Bumper stickers on cars not allowed on campus? What a waste of time and resources for these pansies. Their parents or grandparents must not have taught them a thing about campus life in the 60's or 70's; we're in big trouble with these woosies left to lead the world someday. SMH

Melowese Richardson

There was a point in time, not too long ago, that when you went to college it was expected that your thinking process was going to be challenged, That what college was supposed to do. Today, these "adult children" run for their "safe space" whenever they feel aggrieved, how sad.

Yes indeed, Bob Dylan: "These times they are a changin." And not for the better.


Agreed, the "safe space" is complete bull.

I know, I'm such a liberal.


LaCrosseTaxPayer - Seriously, do you think anyone reads the comment section or cares about your absurd political rants?

Only small brained liberals like you would post such nonsense, just hoping there buddy Moe from the bar reads it.

Why not get some real exposure and write you message out in Chalk on the sidewalk like every other crybaby.

At lease then you'll get some real exposure, and a bonus if the media covers it because it's a slow news day.

Keep it real, buttercup.


“'We the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt-free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, delusional, and other liberal bed-wetter’s. We hold these truths to be self evident: that a whole lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim they require a Bill of NON-Rights.'

ARTICLE I: You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV, or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.
ARTICLE II: You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone -- not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc.; but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.
ARTICLE III: You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful; do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.
ARTICLE IV: You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes .
ARTICLE V: You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing, we're just not interested in public health care...
ARTICLE VI: You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim, or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.
ARTICLE VII: You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat, or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won't have the right to a big screen color TV or a life of leisure.
ARTICLE VIII: You do not have the right to a job... All of us sure want you to have a job, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful. (AMEN!)
ARTICLE IX: You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to PURSUE happiness, which by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an over abundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.

ARTICLE X: This is an English speaking country. We don't care where you are from, English is our language. Learn it or go back to wherever you came from! (Lastly....)

ARTICLE XI: You do not have the right to change our country's history or heritage. This country was founded on the belief in one true God. And yet, you are given the freedom to believe in any religion, any faith, or no faith at all; with no fear of persecution. The phrase IN GOD WE TRUST is part of our heritage and history, and if you are uncomfortable with it, TOUGH!!!! GET OVER IT !!!”

Boat Cap

In short, get over it! It's okay to bash Trump and other more conservative thinkers, but don't dare criticize the liberals. If you are offended you probably got a trophy for taking last place in a contest because you were taught everyone has to be a winner!!!!!!


Whose bashing Trump? Conservative thinkers????? Isn't that an oxymoron!

Dave from Wisc

Remember this when the Democrats say we need to raise your taxes to give more money to Big Education. The UW systems spends millions on PC departments like the Campus Climate department and the emergency bias response team. I wonder if they even get an old used ambulance.


Millions???? Really, millions????

Dave from Wisc

Do you know how many people are employed in the diversity department in the various schools in the UW system? I don't but I've seen some numbers for California schools. And each employee costs the university system (pay, benies, expenses, office expenses) say $110,000 each. So say we have.......lets go with 50 diversity hawks in the UW system, that is $5.5M per year.


OH wow, that's you're big smoking gun! I suppose you don't realize those same people, you're complaining about are responsible for scholarships, recruiting and grants, and handle of wide arrange of campus complaints. But heh, if you think that's "ALL" they do, you know because you assume, it's your right to stay ignorant.

Good luck!


The hate and bias team responded to the message "All lives matter"? Makes sense


About as much sense as the Madison graffiti message "White people are the devil" being referred to as "anti-racist" by the Fibune earlier this week.

Simply perverse.


I tried getting in on a game of basketball with a group of black men on campus only to be told I was a cracker and that I should go to the library. I'm still waiting for a call back from the hate and bias team as well as a newspaper article. Ironically enough, I learned there is no such thing as hate or bias toward white men. I love breathing this privileged air.


You are a member of White Privelege so please go on your way as in most minds on a college campus you are taking a spot from a minority even though you likely got in on merit of good grades, ACT/SAT scores etc.....they don't care. You don't fit the agenda to add more staff & departments......


Get it straight CJ, white males are the new minority.

And if you think a perfect ACT score is failing to compete against an uneducated minority, yeah that ain't happening. Ok except for the ROTC. The military wants their leaders to look like their troops. And I guess that's understandable.


You have no idea what you are writing about.


Is the "Hate Response Team" modeled after the Ghost Busters?



mud flyes

President Truman to General MacAthur and Admiral Nimitz. " Political correctness is a doctrine recently fostered by a delusional,illogical minority and promoted by a sick mainstream media,which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of sht by the clean end".


It is NOT Hate Speech, it is Free Speech. We live in America, and Political Correctness has gone WAY too far!




And if the message praised Allah, you'd be fine with that too?

you think you know

Strawman argument! If somebody were to 'be offended' by a chalking praising allah, they would be called a racist and a bigot. But when it's somebody offended by the word Trump it's ok?


Nooo, I was heading the direction of jihad, but whatever....


It is really something that advocating for a Presidential candidate by writing his name in chalk on sidewalks is decried as hate speech and vandalism by some though it will wash away with the next rainstorm.

Yet, when a black man writes "the devil is a white man" (anti-racism message?) in spray paint on the walls of university buildings and rightly arrested for vandalism, there are protest marches claiming his free speech rights are being violated.

Down is up and up is down. Shaking my head...


.... because that happens all the time at UWL ....


UW Madison... Read about it right here on the Tribune web site this morning.


What, let me get this straight, you "HolmenPackerFan" are comparing the actions of people, who do not work for the University where Vandalism occurred, to the enforcement of Campus policies by people who do work for the University and is there job to do so. And how is that a comparison?

Oh when you're done, could you just list some other random things that you consider to be comparable. I start some popcorn, this is going to be good.


"What, let me get this straight, you "HolmenPackerFan" are comparing the actions of people, who do not work for the University where Vandalism occurred, to the enforcement of Campus policies by people who do work for the University and is there job to do so. And how is that a comparison?"

Don't bother acquainting yourself with the facts, superman. Perhaps if you read the first sentence of the link to the article I linked you'll understand your error. In fact, the march at UW-Madison included UW-Madison professors who DO work for the University where the vandalism occurred.

To answer your question... There is no comparison between writing "Trump 2016" in chalk on a sidewalk and spray-painting "The devil is a white man" on a campus building.

Enjoy your popcorn.

Further reading:


Wow where to start. Ok.... So you are comparing the reaction of employed people who are following workplace policy to the reaction of people not associated with the university who decided to voice voice their outrage and (hold on, here's the leap to neverland over these 2 completely unrelated groups) in drawing that parallel, attempting to extrapolate moral sarcasm....

There, did I do it? Did that make it past your grey matter?

I still have some popcorn left if you have anything else to share.


superman: You're mistaken (again) writing "…people not associated with the university…"

Sentence one of the report from Madison posted here earlier today, "Hundreds of UW-Madison students and professors marched through the university Thursday, protesting the recent arrest of a black student ..."

you think you know

Maybe not at UWL, but only a few hours away at UW Madison it's happening right now. It's not that far fetched that it could easily work it's way northeast a little bit and be at UWL.


Wow, you guys are wound waaaaaay to tight on this issue. Fix your wedgie, before you send the safe place police after me.

Melowese Richardson

" It's not that far fetched that it could easily work it's way northeast a little bit and be at UWL."

ytyk: If it makes its way "northeast", I'm pretty sure that it wouldn't end up at UWL. Maybe Oshkosh, or Green Bay, or Lake Michigan, but not here. A little directionally challenged today?? [tongue_smile][tongue_smile][cool]


All these issues could have been eliminated years ago if the students had not approved more funding for the Campus Climate office.


Graffiti are writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or painted illicitly on a wall or other surface. This shows the mentality of some who are supporting Trump.

you think you know

Except for the article says these writings were done on sidewalks, and it also says that UWL policy allows for them. So what mentality are you pointing to?

Whoever wrote this followed every rule and was allowed to do so.


Was that more of a confession than a response?

you think you know

HAha, no such luck, Super. I'm certainly no Trump fan, but I'm less of a fan of these pansies who act like they are mortally wounded from some side walk chalk.


Anyone who gets excited about hopscotch on the sidewalk has more than a few issues. But even more problematic are the people who get excited about it's removal.

As if that's not free speech too....

check mate.

Melowese Richardson

Lookout, you aren't the sharpest knife in the drawer are you? Because only Trump supporters would do these things. smh [yawn][rolleyes][wink][sneaky]

union conservative

I wish the student would come forward to be handed his award:)

Buggs Raplin

I can see a time coming when everybody will be afraid to say anything. Political correctness is like a cancer on our right of free speech.


To Buggs...remember the good old days when you used to make fun of people with MD/MS because they wore those goofy leg braces and you called the overweight kid fatso and you pushed the gay guy in the hall way and called him names and your buddies joined in. Yes, bring back the good old days, Buggs. Political correctness has gotten SOOO bad in 2016 that a guy running for president can insult almost every ethnic group in the country, insult the head of his own party, mock a handicapped TV personalty, belittle his opponents with demeaning nicknames, etc. Yes indeed, these are tough times for free speech.


Imagine the fear conservative students have when they consider the next 4-8 years under a former SOS whose policies tore apart Libya, Syria, Ukraine, rekindled the cold war, and created the refugee mess while culturing ISIS. Her every accomplishment has led to death and destruction and she promises to rule by executive fiat. Surely, those students must want the Hate and Bias Response Team do something, anything, to ban hateful "Hillary" signs from campus. But then again, they are conservative so they suck it up and instead support free speech and getting rid of silly bureaucrats to lower tuition.


Ok Paul Simon...


A Hate & Bias Response Team along with a Campus Climate office.......tuition being put to good use I'm sure students feel safe....maybe address some better issues like assaults and guys wandering into female dorm rooms uninvited.


Exempt employees?


Chalking right here in River City? Are colleges powerless to prevent this plague or do they,naively, view it as insignificant minutia? If public high schools become infected how will they react?

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