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UMD student starts petition against hate symbols on campus

DULUTH, MN -- There's a call for change Wednesday night at UMD, over something recently seen at a Duluth attraction.

After noticing a Glensheen visitor wearing a Confederate flag mask, a Duluth college student wants his school to take a stand.

"We were told to basically put on our best hospitality face and ignore it," said Kolin Posterick, UMD student and the person who started the petition.

Posterick said the mask made him feel uncomfortable at his place of employment.

"It really made me realize that I don't feel wanted where I work," said Posterick.

To raise awareness and change, Posterick is starting a petition to include a section in the University policy, prohibiting the use of hate symbols.

"For the university, I'm hoping that they create the prohibition of hate symbols on campus, and all of their properties," said Posterick.

Glensheen is a UMD property. The incident happened two weeks ago.

Posterick said the support from the community to start this petition has been uplifting.

"It's just been nice having people there that actually understand the struggle and understand the issues that we have to face. It's great, honestly," said Posterick.

Ultimately, he hopes students will remain involved in creating change, rather than just speaking about it.

"I just also want the student body to realize that equality and civil rights is not just a fad that they can get that they can just hop on the bandwagon for at the first sight, but that they actually need to support it every day to create the change," said Posterick.

UMD released this statement today in response to the petition.

"We are aware of the online petition from a student worker at Glensheen with a concern of a guest wearing a confederate flag mask. UMD and Glensheen respect the 1st amendment rights around freedom of speech for members of our campus community and the general public, which includes visitors to our campus facilities. UMD and Glensheen are committed to diversity and inclusion and ask all members of our campus community to model our core values, which include respecting diversity of individuals, perspectives, and ideas," said Lynne Williams, Marketing and Public Relations Director at UMD.

Glensheen did not respond to request for comment.

Click here if you would like to view the petition.

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Ryan Compeau

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