CAUGHT ON VIDEO: Hidden cameras show vandalism of conservative signs
A long-broken security camera has become the center of a struggle between the College Republicans chapter at the University of Minnesota-Morris (UMM) and the school administration.
A security camera responsible for preventing vandalism of student fliers placed on a tack board designed to platform free speech has been inoperable for over a year, UMM College Republicans president Tayler Lehmann told Campus Reform.
"I talked to campus police here at Morris and asked if it was okay to put up a secret camera," the chapter president said. "They said there was nothing wrong with it so we put one up." Campus Reform could not confirm that police approved the student group installing its own camera.
Students and even student workers on the job have taken to stealing and vandalizing College Republican flyers and poster displays which support pro-life values and civil dialogue.
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To combat this, UMM College Republicans installed a hidden security camera of their own, capturing dozens of video clips of the vandalism. In some cases, students or groups of students congregate around the College Republican paraphernalia and appear to discuss before defacing them with paint, altering the messages with Sharpie, or stealing them altogether.
"We now are taking them to court for destruction of property," Lehmann told Campus Reform. "We have taken one student to court last year for the same reason and he had to pay a fine and was put on probation. But now we have five in a row with this hidden camera."
After the College Republicans captured these images, UMM told the student group that it is no longer permitted to use its hidden camera.
“It's sad that basic conservative ideas can't be expressed on a modern-day liberal arts campus,” Lehmann told Campus Reform. “The U of M Morris touts their ‘stand out [to] fit in’ tag line, but in reality they mean to say stand out as long as you fit into their ideas.”
[RELATED: Jefferson statue vandalized at Hofstra University]
Despite the opposition, Lehmann suggested that UMM’s College Republicans remain undeterred.
“The University of Minnesota Morris College Republicans have never and will never be intimidated by anybody,” Lehmann told Campus Reform.
UMM College Republicans continue to hang their posters.
“Campus police conducted an investigation regarding the fliers. Once that investigation was complete, all evidence gathered was turned over to the Stevens County Attorney’s Office," UMM spokeswoman Melissa D’Aloia told The College Fix. "[T]he decision on how to proceed is determined within that office and thus we are not able to comment.”
Lehmann told Campus Reform that the school has installed its own camera near the board. Campus Reform could not confirm this with UMM.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @KyleHooten2