Hundreds of Stockton University students, along with faculty and staff, joined in a rally in response to white supremacist flyers posted on the campus over the weekend.

Inside the Campus Center on Thursday, students held signs that read,”I stand for love and unity,” and “White supremacists aren’t welcome here.”

“If three people can come to this campus and spread hate, let hundreds upon hundreds smother it out,” Mahalia Bazile, president of Stockton’s Unified Black Student Society, said to the crowd.

The rally, called Unite Against Hate, was quickly organized by members of the Student Senate after news of flyers and stickers featuring “alt-right” messages and the logo for the white supremacy group Identity Evropa were found on the Galloway campus.

Student Senate President Victoria Dambroski said she woke up Monday surprised by the news and immediately felt uncomfortable. “The Student Senate wanted to make sure that as soon as we had a statement prepared, we has an action to follow that,” she said.

The Student Senate’s statement, which was sent to current Stockton students and posted to social media, said, “We are reaching out to you to assure you that our campus is not a home for hate.”

Dean of Students Dr. Pedro Santana spoke about unity, citing the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Spanish philosopher George Santayana. “History is a discipline that can teach us many things so we can learn from our mistakes, but unfortunately, sometime we do not,” said Santana.

“As a community, our students are united and support each other,” Santana said of Thursday’s rally. “Our students embody everything good about humanity.”

“We planted the seed of having the rally,” said student Senator Askhia Khawaja, who spoke with concerned students Tuesday and created an list of demands to the administration to improve policies and procedures to prevent future incidents on campus.

“It was a team effort with all students, and this is what I want to see in the future — even more — in response to hate on our campus,” Khawaja said.

Stockton President Harvey Kesselman also released a statement Thursday afternoon saying the university strongly denounced the actions and beliefs of those behind the hate propaganda.

“The Stockton community is unified in our loud and clear denunciation of such hate speech, and I want to personally reaffirm our commitment to providing an environment where all students, faculty, staff, alumni and the public feel welcomed and supported,” Kesselman said.

Stockton police released still images from surveillance video of three suspects. The university said it seeks to identify the suspects, who are still unknown.

Although the charge would only be for the unauthorized posting of materials on campus property, a university spokesperson said Stockton police are working with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Officer if any additional charges are to be filed. The investigation is continuing.

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Staff Writer

Joined the Press in November 2016. Graduate of Quinnipiac University. Previously worked as a freelance reporter in suburban Philadelphia and news/talk radio producer.

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