Nazi group posts leaflets on bridge

by Travis Reed

A grainy black-and-white photo depicts an interracial couple walking hand in hand with the bold headline, “Hey, white girl! Race mixing is a crime.”
The National Socialist Movement, a Nazi group posing as a University student organization, posted two letter-sized leaflets on the Washington Avenue Bridge this week.
The leaflet implied the student group was a registered campus organization by listing a St. Paul Student Center address.
Although the Nazi group has a mailbox at the student center, the group is not recognized by the University.
According to the Campus Involvement Center, a student group must meet three criteria to be registered: They must have at least three members, a constitution or mission statement and abide by the University’s equal-opportunity statement in terms of membership and access.
Students petitioned the University in the early 1990s to register a student group called the “White Student Union,” but their efforts failed because they only had two members.
June Nobbe, director of the involvement center, said the U.S. Constitution requires the University to allow all groups regardless of ideology to become student organizations.
“We have to abide by their freedom of speech and First Amendment rights,” she said. “As long as they comply with the criteria, we must register them.”
Officials would not release the name of the individual who rented the box, and no one at the phone number listed on the flyer was available for comment.
The St. Paul Student Center charges $20 per month for use of each box. Visiting faculty members, international students and registered student groups have used the post office boxes.
Little is known about the group, except that at least one person involved is a University student, a requirement for use of the mailbox.
Student center officials were not aware that the group used the box.
Denny Olsen, associate director of the University’s student centers, said they don’t normally monitor what goes into the mailboxes, but said they would investigate the use of the box listed on the flyer.
“We will check in and see what action is appropriate,” he said.

Travis Reed covers transportation and the environment and welcomes comments at [email protected] He can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3235.