Ohio university removes posters for 'straight pride' week

AP News
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Posted: Apr 24, 2015 12:01 PM

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — Posters promoting a "straight pride" week at a northeast Ohio university were removed this week after student leaders determined that the message went beyond free speech.

Youngstown State University student government leaders told WKBN-TV they decided to remove the posters after consulting with university officials.

The posters were hung around campus earlier this week. They included profanity and promoted the event as a time to not highlight sexual orientation or differences among students. They encouraged students to "go about your day without telling everyone about how 'different' you are."

Campus leaders said that while they believe the posters were meant as satire, the message was inappropriate.

"If you actually read through it, it seemed like it went way further than a free speech issue," said Student Government President Michael Slavens. "There were swear words and took it a little further than the average free speech should go."

The posters counter the school's mission to create a diverse campus, university spokesman Ron Cole told WFMJ-TV. Officials are investigating possible student code violations, and disciplinary action may follow.

A statement from the student government said while it respects free speech of all students, the posters weren't authorized, contained vulgar language and missed the point of activism.