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Sarah Semrad

Sarah Semrad, left, poses with Chelsea Clinton. Semrad was an intern for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2016.

A UW-La Crosse student whose social media activity has attracted state and national attention is no longer an officer with the College Democrats of Wisconsin.

Junior and political science student Sarah Semrad was vice chair of the statewide organization when she drew attention last week by tweeting that “I (expletive) hate white men.” Screenshots from a now-defunct Twitter account also include a message sent last month in which Semrad celebrated removing fliers for Christian-based pregnancy counseling from the UW-L campus.

“My new bit is tearing down all the pro life Christian pregnancy resource center fliers that they put up around campus to try & trick people,” an October tweet read.

The tweets caught the attention last week of conservative Milwaukee radio talk show host Mark Belling and the conservative media outlet Campus Reform, which reported that she resigned Tuesday morning. Staff at the UW-L Police Department were unable to verify whether vandalism complaints were made on campus during the time frame in question.

Semrad explained and apologized for her Twitter posts in an email to the Tribune.

“In a moment of impulsivity and immaturity, I posted the tweet about white males as an expression of frustration towards my male friend who wouldn’t ask for directions,” she wrote. “My tweet about posters described my actions after I saw and removed one poster that was hanging on campus that had not received proper university approval for on-campus posting.

“I recognize that my words were neither humorous nor harmless, and sincerely apologize to all who have been hurt, offended or embarrassed by them,” she continued. “My commitment to social justice remains steadfast and will not be deterred by these events, and I vow to use the maturity and sensitivity that would reflect that going forward.”

Semrad is no longer listed on the website of the College Democrats of Wisconsin, whose communications director has not responded to the Tribune’s phone and email messages.

The UW-L College Republicans issued a statement Tuesday night expressing disappointment in Semrad’s tweets.

“Singling out any individuals based on their race, gender or religion is not something the College Republicans agree with,” the organization said. “This is especially troubling coming from someone at the second-highest leadership position in the state college Democrat organization.”

Staff at the UW-L chapter of Campus Democrats provided a statement through social media Tuesday. They defended Semrad, calling her tweets “sarcastic” and not representative of Semrad or the organization.

“Sarah Semrad is a wonderful person with an admirable passion for government work and serving the needs of others,” the statement said. “Judging her or the College Democrats organization by sarcastic tweets on a locked Twitter account would be foolish.”

This isn’t the first time a UW-L student has opposed Christian messages on campus. A 2015-16 report of hate and bias incidents included an incident in which a student asked for the removal of Campus Crusade for Christ posters on campus, saying encountering the fliers made the student feel uncomfortable and that the Christian cross represents “oppression and hate of the LGBT+ community.”

Earlier this summer, the Journal Times wrote a feature story about Semrad, who is a 2015 graduate of Racine’s Walden III High School. Semrad was an intern on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign last fall, and the article described her duties as vice chair as helping organize group’s annual state convention, as well as working with regional directors of other College Democrat chapters.

In the profile, Semrad said she wanted to make sure that everyone has an equal say in government. After graduation, Semrad said, she wants to stay active in politics.

“My number-one passion in politics is making sure that constituents feel represented and cared for,” Semrad told the Journal Times. “I’m also very passionate about seeing more women and people of color in positions of power.”


Photos: Inside the $500 million Museum of the Bible

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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.

(58) comments

Clarification

Just for the record, I am beginning to ________ hate the behavior of my fellow white men too.

MarissaJ

Let us all keep in mind, as we sit judgmentally behind our screens, that this is a 20 year old young woman who made a bad judgement call on social media. It is far easier for us on the other side, not being publicly shamed and harassed, to pass judgement and insults without worrying about the effects of our words. While what Sarah did was not in her best interest or that of others, I am sure you can all imagine a time in your lives, especially as 20 year olds, where you made a rash decision that you later regretted. In this age of social media and instant communication, a mistake is nearly in-erasable and far easier to commit than the world many of you grew up in. This young woman is getting messages with threats of violence and encouraging suicide; clearly, she has gotten far more punishment than is deserved from a simple tweet. We all sit idly by every single day as the President of this country misuses social media and posts inappropriate and harmful content, but as soon as a prominent, successful young woman slips up she is dragged through the mud because of it, her name slandered. Please, think before you regurgitate this story; think of things you may have said or done, and how lucky you were that they did not become a national news story. We all need a little compassion and forgiveness in our lives, and room to grow and mature. Consider yourselves above internet trolling, posting cruel comments from behind a computer screen depicting words you would never say to anyone's face. Sarah is a driven, motivated and justice-seeking young woman - she will never again make a mistake like this one, and I know she has learned a valuable lesson in this. Give her the benefit of your silence, and continue with your lives knowing you spared a young woman the pain of one more hurtful comment.

Clarification

A voice of reason in a sea of BS comments . Threats of violence show how unhinged we all have become.

RunnerGirl12

The burden of morality is never placed on men like it is on women. We hold a UWL student more accountable than our President - how is that fair? I hope in 50 years from now she will be able to look back on this and laugh that our country used to be this way. Wish her all the best - don't stop fighting the good fight!

tower

I love how quickly this local story has spireled down to the evil Clintons. It amazes me the capacity of inflation the wingnut mind generates. Just remember, leftists cut their sexual deviants off while wingnuts elect them President (and apparently Senator).

crank

Toddler's grasp on reality seems as tenuous as ever. He writes, "Just remember, leftists cut their sexual deviants off while wingnuts elect them President (and apparently Senator)."

Hmmmm... So you leftists didn't elect Bill Clinton President? You'd just prefer nobody talk about that, right? #doublestandard

Now we'll see if what tower wrote reflects reality or fantasy, won't we? I wonder if the leftists will cut off Al Franken or whether their intolerance for sexual assault and harassment is selective. I think we know but we'll have to wait and see.

http://www.kabc.com/2017/11/16/leeann-tweeden-on-senator-al-franken/

#doublestandard ?

tower

Gee Dudley, I didn't mention you once. Being your usual narcissistic self? The story about Clinton came out after he was elected, not before like you know who. But to quote a great GOP leader in reference to Frankin, "if proven true....".

tower

So Dudley, let us compare. Franken has admitted it, apologised, ask for an ethics investigation and is willing to cooperate. Yes, that is a double standard alright. What an adult does instead of deflecting, denying, and bullying these allegations. At least his indescretons were with adults.

johnnybragatti

IF they do it with you ?
They"ll do it to you.
Word of Wisdom.

Buggs Raplin

Sarcasm alert....I am so sorry I am a white man. Shame on me for being born white. What can I do to make amends to please this young woman featured in this article. I've tried many times to point out how a white man raped Juanita Broaddrick, harassed many women like Kathleen Willey, and has had numerous affairs with women like Gennifer Flowers. Yet this white man is an untouchable, like his wife, also white, who condones his affairs, but still remains married to this white man. The child of a white man is pictured here with the local woman featured in this article. Embracing the current liberal cultural revolution, we white people should all fall on our knees (take a knee) in an apology for the sin of being born white. Sad to say, this sarcasm is a liberal talking point these days.

ToldYaSo

I thought adult white males are still fair game for discrimination?

Cassandra

If only she had sexually assaulted a minor, she'd be championed by the right wing.

DMoney

You are one sick puppy...

crank

You seem to have left and right confused again, Cassandra. In the news recently are examples of bad actors in the midst of sexual scandal. Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey are lefties accused of sexual harassment and assault. They simply followed in the steps of Bill Clinton. After only a couple of weeks, of counseling, all seems forgiven in accordance with the established liberal #doublestandard.

http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/bryan-cranston-on-possible-redemption-for-weinstein-spacey-w511825

Let's square what you've said about "the right wing" with reality. You seem to be referring to the case of Alabama Judge Roy Moore, a Republican candidate for the US Senate. Who is championing him, exactly? By nearly every account (except perhaps his lawyer), the right-wing is saying he is unfit and demanding he drop out of the Senate race. Even though the allegations are not 'proven', Paul Ryan and others have said they seem credible and are speaking out against Moore.

In contrast, Bill Clinton was proven to have sexually harassed women including a young intern in the White House (with DNA evidence, no less) but liberal gals like you seem to excuse that behavior when the bad guy is a Democrat. Hillary Clinton denied all and said it was the work of a vast right-wing conspiracy. #championed #doublestandard #reality

Cassandra

And your "president" who said he grabbed women by the genitals--pure class.
And Fox "news" continues its defense of Moore and lots of wingnuts in the upper levels of the republican party and lots of teabaggers continue their loud defense, even claiming a biblical defense for Moore's pedophilia and sexual assault.
At least with Clinton the allegations involved women were adults (not a defense, I know). Your cravenness and hypocrisy know no bounds.

crank

Funny! You calling me a hypocrite, ripping on Trump while, in essence, defending Clinton for being the same sort of womanizer. Pure class?

Thanks for proving my point, Cassandra. #doublestandard

Who in the Republican Party is defending Roy Moore? Please provide names and direct quotes.

tower

Dudley, please learn how to Google. The entire AL GOP is backing Moore. Recently a MD GOP official did too. Rushbo, Hannity (til the advertisers rebelled), many "Christian pastors". Apparently you aren't bright enough to find this stuff out. BTW: Clinton was outed after the election not before.

Cassandra

Here you go, Cranky:
http://www.newsweek.com/gop-hypocrites-defending-roy-moore-sex-abuse-scandal-707704
http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/10/politics/roy-moore-joseph-and-mary/index.html

Cassandra

Crank, Clinton was not the "same sort of womanizer." He carried on affairs with adults, not children. You are defending a pedophile who assaulted children. Well done.

Cassandra

As soon as I provided the evidence, Crank disappeared. Surprise!

MICELIST

[rolleyes] First off I do lean to the left.... but It is too bad she did not think enough of her position as leader to act like one, It is hard enough for us to get our valid concerns heard w/o having our voices discounted by actions such as these. Gives credence to those calling us Libtards, Left wing nut-jobs ect. Sad ..... Hope she uses this as a learning experience and can grow. Intolerance is bad on the right and the left..

steve c

FYI-it's etc, not ect.

Cassandra

Mice, please tell us her reporting of a childhood sexual assault somehow undermines "valid concerns". I'm also curious why you seem more concerned about name calling than about the pederasty of a US Senate candidate.

Cassandra

Whoops...got so distracted trying to find proof of Bugg's allegations about Vegas that I conflated two different stories. Apologies for my error.

Buggs Raplin

As if this was your only error...

Cassandra

Chippy, please provide link to support your lies, oops, I mean ridiculous claims about the Vegas Strip being "raked by gunfire".
We're all still waiting for you to provide a SINGLE bit of evidence to back up your claims.

RunnerGirl12

"It is too bad she did not think enough of her position as a leader to act like one." Are you kidding?????????? Have you seen our President????????

Old Bowhunter

Sounds like she’s been properly educated by the liberal university system to hate anyone different than her. So sad our young people are being trained by socialist/leftists/social justice communists/haters/ANTIFA types. The future looks bleak if this is the kind of people our schools are turning out. Oh, and surprise, surprise she's a Democrat!

steve c

Touche bowhunter. This country is going to Hell in a hand basket.

crank

FYI-it's touché, not touche. [rolleyes]

Cassandra

Yep, hell in a handbasket, led by a parade of sexual abusers. Nice.

BucksIn6

This isn't news. Destroying a 20 year old girl's life for the sake of a headline is despicable. I am really disappointed in the Tribune for this.

crank

Perhaps the issue of her Tweet "I [expletive] hate white men." is being overblown. Somehow, I suspect Ms. Semrad wouldn't hesitate to overreact in similar fashion to destroy a 20 year old boy's life if they Tweeted something similar about women (white or otherwise). #doublestandard

We should be reminded of that golden rule where we should endeavor to treat people the way we want to be treated. If she wants others to overlook and forgive an indiscreet comment from her, perhaps she might consider overlooking such indiscretions from others. Such a comment from a male expressing hate of women would undoubtedly trigger a complaint to campus officials and perhaps demonstrations/headlines/publicity. #doublestandard

I wonder if she would classify someone tearing down flyers for some cause she holds dear as hateful and unacceptable though she clearly seemed proud and felt justified in tearing down flyers posted by a Christian organization offering counsel to pregnant women to perhaps make a choice other than abortion for their unborn child. #doublestandard

DMoney

Self-inflicted. She's responsible for her despicable actions, the media just reports it. Maybe she'll learn a lesson.

Buggs Raplin

Future position assured at the Clinton Foundation.

Cassandra

Still waiting for Buggs to back up his lies about the Vegas Strip being "raked by gunfire" by providing a link to even a SINGLE photo.
Everything Buggs says here is questionable because he can't back any of it up with proof, but he keeps spreading conspiracy theories and lies.

Buggs Raplin

I'll send you some links when I get the time....

Cassandra

No you won't liar, because they don't exist.

Comment deleted.
Clarification

Pure racism. Trumpzi hate talk. Pathetic and must s-u-c-k to be you.

Slider

Sounds like UW-L has a new hate group.

Little Willie

In taking down opposing flyers is right, it sure is opposite to what her feelings are. she stated "In the profile, Semrad said she wanted to make sure that everyone has an equal say in government. It sure doesn't souns like it, only mine

LaCrosseCampers

Her"explanations" are so lame, I can't believe anyone thinks they are legitimate. "My new bit" meant taking only one poster down? "they trick people" meant it didn't have UW-L permission? "I f**king hate white men" was because her boyfriend doesn't like to ask directions? Do black men always ask for directions? Her entire response is bizarre and non-believable. Glad the Dems are distancing her from them -- the right thing to do with this loose cannon.

Monteee

I wonder when people in this country are going to wake up and realize that social media (Twitter, specifically) is causing massively more harm than good.

DMoney

Yeah social media is the problem. Just like guns are the problem. Drugs and alcohol are the problem. It's us! It's our flawed, corrupt species. That's the essence of why I hate all things collectivist/socialist. I don't want to cast my lot with the average whacko.

Monteee

DMoney, you missed my point. I'm criticizing the PEOPLE who use social media. I'm criticizing those who are dumb enough to take whatever thoughts they may be having and put them on a global information network (like Twitter) without any consideration of the consequences.

People should be smart enough to know that anything they put on Twitter or other social media WILL be used against them. Unfortunately, they're not smart enough.

capedcrusader

Well, at least you admit you hate.

DMoney

Yup, and not watered down or exaggerated either. I loathe the idea of a third power coercing me to be lumped in with the general public.

Cassandra

D-bags are the problem.

Buena Vista

Very good comment. Very true.

Comment deleted.
Buena Vista

I, for one, consider the La Crosse Tribune a very reliable and credible news source.

Brice Prairie

That leans a little left of center.

Buggs Raplin

They're striving fearlessly....not sure what they're striving for...but they're doing it fearlessly. Just ask them.

Redwall

b-bye

johnnybragatti

Love "s ,no doubt ,been a little "hard" on the young lady.
"White men" probably is college guys , in general.
A basic stereotype/...taken personal.

madmen60

White men, is in reference to the numerous sexual harassment claims brought against largely old white successful men.

baywatch242000

I am quite left leaning but it's people like her that are pushing me into the arms of Independents and Republicans.

Wonder if she hates white females too? Or if it's just misandry?

She sounds like a disaster that has no place in an official position.

capedcrusader

I'm sure she's just "pushing you" into their arms. Right.

baywatch242000

"it's people like her that are pushing me into the arms of Independents and Republicans."

_________________________________

Where did I say she was pushing me into their arms. I said people LIKE her.

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