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White supremacists attempting to recruit on college campuses; fliers found in Lynchburg

In this photo taken Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, multiple white nationalist groups march with torches through the UVA campus in Charlottesville, Va. Hundreds of people chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other Saturday after violence erupted at a white nationalist rally in Virginia. (Mykal McEldowney/The Indianapolis Star via AP)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- Colleges across the United States are back in session and white supremacist groups are targeting their campuses to spread their propaganda.

Identity Evropa tweeted photos of fliers on many different college campuses across the nation, including right here in Lynchburg at Lynchburg College and Liberty University.

LC's spokesperson, Bryan Gentry, confirmed one flier was found and removed from the campus on September 4.

"We have no evidence of any further messaging from this group on our campus," he said. "We did issue a notification to our campus community [Wednesday] in response to addition attention that the original photo was starting to receive."

According to Liberty University, after the photos were tweeted out the LU Police Department conducted a search and didn't find anything and said it appears the photos were photoshopped.

LU's spokesperson, Len Stevens, said all fliers must be approved by the Dean of Students Office and if they are not approved they will be removed.

"It is unfortunate not only that groups like this exist, but that they would use trickery in an attempt to associate themselves with schools like ours," Liberty University added.

In the notification to LC's campus, Gentry wrote that Identity Evropa shared an image of a sticker with its logo on LC's campus on September 3; a staff member located and removed the sticker the following morning.

"Identity Evropa is a white nationalist group that was involved in protests that occurred last month at the University of Virginia and in downtown Charlottesville," the notification continued.

"We have no evidence that suggests this sticker was posted by a member of our campus community, and we have not detected any further activity here. Placing the sticker seems to have been an isolated activity seeking attention," the notifciation read. "Lynchburg College is a diverse community devoted to the safety and inclusion of all students, faculty, and staff."

After the protests in Charlottesville, LC said its Safety and Security team met with Lynchburg Police to discuss how local law enforcement could work together to respond to attempts to hold unwelcome protests on LC's campus.

President Garren has also shared messages encouraging the LC community to work togeter to “continue the pursuit of diversity and inclusion, open and honest civil discourse, and mutual respect for all.”

The notification also read that since LC is a private institution, they are not required to open the campus to outside groups.

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READ NOTIFICATION TO STUDENTS, FACULTY, & STAFF BELOW:

To All Students, Faculty and Staff,

At the encouragement of faculty members, I am writing to share information about a recent message posted on campus and our reaction to it.

On the night of September 3, the group Identity Evropa shared on social media an image of a sticker with its logo on the Lynchburg College campus. A staff member located and removed the sticker the following morning. Identity Evropa is a white nationalist group that was involved in protests that occurred last month at the University of Virginia and in downtown Charlottesville.

We have no evidence that suggests this sticker was posted by a member of our campus community, and we have not detected any further activity here. Placing the sticker seems to have been an isolated activity seeking attention. Based on advice previously given by local law enforcement, we chose to monitor the situation without giving the group the gratification of publicity. However, other outside groups have begun to reference the sticker, so it is important to publicly reaffirm our values and explain our response.

Lynchburg College is a diverse community devoted to the safety and inclusion of all students, faculty, and staff. After the protests that occurred in Charlottesville, Lynchburg Police met with our Safety and Security team to discuss how local law enforcement could work together to respond to any attempts to hold unwelcome protests on our campus. President Garren also has shared several messages encouraging all of us to work together to “continue the pursuit of diversity and inclusion, open and honest civil discourse, and mutual respect for all.” As important, he stressed that the “safety and well-being of Lynchburg College students, faculty, staff, and alumni remain my priority, above all else.”

As a private institution, we are not required to open our campus to outside groups. We encourage civil discourse and non-coercive dissent, but we reject violence, bigotry, and oppression.

I ask each member of our community to help us ensure that ideas of hate and white supremacy are not promoted on our campus. If you discover materials from any group such as Identity Evropa on or around campus, please call Campus Security and Safety immediately at 434-544-8100, or report the activity through the LiveSafe app.

Sincerely,

Hayward Guenard

Vice President and Dean for Student Development

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