A poster featuring a rape joke hung up around the campus of the University of Minnesota Morris and linked to a College Republican group received nationwide social media attention and a storm of criticism by students.
The flyer included the weekly meeting location and time of the UMM College Republicans and featured pictures of three half-full glasses, labeled “Optimist,” “Pessimist” and “Feminist.” Under the first glass, a caption reads “The glass is half full,” while under the third glass it reads “The glass is being raped.”
Third year student Peter Truckenmiller shared a picture of the flyer with social media outlets, and told City Pages that it wasn’t the first time controversial posters had been linked to the group. But the president of UMM College Republicans, Tayler Lehmann, told the Star Tribune that his group had nothing to do with the flyer and did not know who was responsible.
The controversy elicited responses from both the President of the University of Minnesota, Joan Gabel, and the Chancellor of the Morris campus, Michelle Behr. Gabel wrote that “protecting free speech has never been easy,” while saying she felt empathy for those hurt by the speech or action of others. Behr assured students she had “heard your concerns regarding language and images being used on our campus that inflame and divide.” She added that a new group was “working on a campus climate evaluation and plan”
The responses from both administrators was criticized on social media for being tepid, with one Twitter user responding “Fun words. Do something about the hate speech now.”