Across the academic complex on Wednesday morning, many students were concerned to see fliers posted with text like “#ENDWOMENSRIGHTS.”
The fliers, which advertised campus political group Young Americans for Freedom, asked questions like “Have your women been speaking out of turn lately?” YAF’s UB chapter said the fliers weren’t produced or distributed by any of its members.
On Wednesday morning, “#ENDWOMENSRIGHTS” fliers were posted on bulletin boards throughout halls like Norton, Knox and the Student Union. The fliers advertised “actual conversation, between other straight white men” in YAF.
The office of Student Life investigated the postings on Wednesday, according to UB spokesperson John Della Contrada. Student Life concluded the fliers didn’t originate from and were not posted by the group listed on the flier. Student Life is continuing to investigate the matter, according to UB.
By noon, some fliers were still visible in the Student Union. By 5 p.m., fliers were removed from Norton, Knox and SU.
Allison Boskat, a junior psychology major, was disgusted by the flier.
“This is not the 19th century and I do not understand how this is still happening,” Boskat said. “This is your typical ‘Make America Great Again’ agenda and I am concerned if this is serious and not a joke.”
Haley Blonsky, a sophomore political science and criminology major, is a co-founder and secretary of YAF. Blonsky said the fliers posted in the academic complex are not from YAF members and noted the club was created by three women, including herself.
“These posters attack me as well as my female colleagues by asserting a fundamentally incorrect claim that one cannot be both a conservative and a woman at the same time,” Blonsky said. “Leftists claim they stand for tolerance and inclusion while at the same trying to undermine our hard work in advancing our conservative ideas and educating our peers. It’s hypocrisy.”
YAF is a temporary-status club part of SA’s Special Interest council. Clubs and other individuals who are interested in posting fliers aren’t required to get flier content approved, according to Mike Odojewski, associate director of Student Unions.
Rodney Payamps, a senior history, political science and international studies major, said he was upset after the fliers remained posted for several hours after they were discovered.
“I want to know who put this up and allowed for this to be here for so long,” Payamps said. “This is sexism and I am going to let my actions speak louder than words.”
After seeing one of the fliers, Payamps proceeded to take it down, rip it to pieces and throw it into the garbage.
Kyle Brazell, a junior electrical engineering major, is a member of UB’s YAF chapter.
“It’s definitely a fake sign. We’d absolutely not put something like this up,” Brazell said. “Half our club is women. We would never do anything like this. When I saw this, I started taking pictures and I was absolutely shocked.”
Brazell said the fliers give the club a bad image and that students may not understand the club’s aim based on the postings.
“We’ve never ever done anything like this. Our club is more of a dialogue to talk about politics openly,” Brazell said. “If someone has an issue and you don’t understand our politics, come and debate with us. We’re very friendly people and will give you the time to speak. We’ve had people come before and I think we’ve changed minds and people’s politics, so come and speak to us.”
Benjamin Blanchet and Erik Tingue are features editors and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Benjamin Blanchet is the senior engagement editor for The Spectrum. His words have been seen in The Buffalo News (Gusto) and The Sun newspapers of Western New York. Loves cryptoquip and double-doubles.