Student, Professor Clash Over Political Flyer
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
OSHKOSH -- A student and professor clash over a political flyer. The professor says it was a misunderstanding but the student says he's not convinced.
An Obama poster is at the center of the controversy. UWO College Republicans posted the flyers to advertise a viewing of "2016-Obama's America" But half their posters were torn down.
Here's what the student says he saw that shocked him.
"She looked at it. Kind of looked around to see what was going on. Kept the poster in her hand that she had taken from the fourth floor, she walked down and threw it in the garbage" said Rocco Frievalt.
Frievalt is head of UWO College Republicans. He says it was no misunderstanding to him.
"She has to understand she is inhibiting students freedom of speech" said Frievalt.
Outraged , Frievalt filed a complaint with student affairs. The Vice Chancellor launched an investigation. The school says it was a misunderstanding not a case of politicking.
"We try to do what we do in every situation and that is to make sure that we bring folks together to discuss the matter, to work out and resolve the matter," said Vice Chancellor Petra Roter.
The professor says she misread the flyer, thought it was for another documentary called "Race 2012" and was going to show it to her class. When she realized the flyer said "Obama 2016" she threw it away.
In a statement to NBC26 the professor admits she tore the flyer down.
"...All that I will say about this story is that it is a big misunderstanding based on one flyer. I have reached out to the student about this incident and explained to him that it was an honest mistake and i apologized..."
But Frievalt says it's raised a bigger issue on campus when it comes to students voicing political opinions.
"They're saying I'm not going to wear my Republican pin anymore because of what might come of it or a professor might degrade me. " said Frievalt.
Students at UWO say they are sensitive to these matters. A year and a half ago a professor at the school was accused of politicking when he passed out recall petitions in class.