Several versions of white nationalist flyers were found in the Midtown Landings and outside of Ruffner Hall by students and a Longwood police officer March 22 and 23, according to Longwood Chief of Police Col. Robert Beach.
When asked about any previous signs of white nationalist material, Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Tim Pierson said unapproved flyers have been “left in the library or around campus” in the past. Pierson didn't confirm whether the unapproved flyers were white nationalist-related.
One flyer was reported to the Longwood University Police Department (LUPD) by a student who found one in the parking lot at Midtown Landings, and an LUPD officer discovered another flyer taped to the Ruffner Hall sign alongside High Street.
The material advertised the group Patriot Front, displaying their website on the bottom.
Patriot Front's official manifesto stated, “Our mission is a hard reset on the nation we see today - a return to the traditions and virtues of our forefathers. The same spirit that urged our ancestors onward to create this nation will once again be brought to light, and new America will be built within its current dilapidated, shameful iteration."
One version of the flyer makes several references to Nazi Germany with the slogan, "Blood and Soil," as well as its eagle symbol. The eagle is referred to as the German Eagle, used in Nazi propaganda, according to Dr. Melissa Kravetz, assistant professor of Modern Europe.
According to Beach, the department is investigating, but no criminal act has occurred.
“We actually have some surveillance footage that we have some leads on the person whose been doing this,” he said.
The suspect hasn’t been determined to have a connection to Longwood or Farmville, according to Beach.
Beach said he wants to discuss the intent behind the flyers with the suspect as well as the posting policies for Longwood and the Town of Farmville.
“The most significant thing for me is to make sure it is done legally and peacefully to support their right for the freedom of speech but also the right of the rest of the population to be able to live a peaceful life and get their education,” said Beach.
Kravetz said she called the police about the flyers on Friday, March 23 after she was informed about them from one of her former students, whose name was not provided. She said she wanted to "make sure they were handling the situation seriously."
Kravetz then emailed history major students instructing them to inform LUPD of any fliers they see in or around Ruffner Hall and to not tear them down for evidence purposes.
“I just wanted to make our students aware of it but also mostly not to scare them but mostly say look if you see another one of these posters it is not a Longwood approved poster,” said Kravetz.
Beach said, “If they see someone doing it or they see this material first of all don’t touch it, don’t take it down or remove it just call the police and let us know where it is at."
Beach said LUPD is documenting all flyers and removing them if not on a public posting area.
Communication studies junior Samantha Rinchetti said she found a flyer on Thursday, March 22 and tore it down without reporting to police. Instead, she posted on her personal Twitter and Facebook accounts after previous instances she felt the situation was ignored.
“I don’t need any more emails saying all posters have be approved by Lankford posting,” said Rinchetti.
Rinchetti said she felt anger when finding the poster.
“Rip those things (flyers) down they don’t have any place here and will never have any place here,” said Rinchetti.
Beach said he wanted to emphasize that if students see something to say something and can do so anonymously to LUPD.