KKK Flyers Prompt Concerns for Off-Campus Safety
Flyers promoting the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) were recently circulated around select parts of Saratoga, causing unease throughout both the Skidmore and Saratoga community. According to The Saratogian News, the flyers, which conveyed messages such as “love your own race” and “stop homosexuality & race mixing,” were first passed around to people unexpectedly on Broadway on the evening of February 10th. The same pamphlets were later found on a number of car windshields near downtown Saratoga the following morning.
Saratoga Mayor Meg Kelly and three other members of the city council were quick to condemn the news. “We as a City Council believe in the value of diversity in our community and are welcoming to people of all races, religions and beliefs. Organizations condoning hate speech or other hateful activities do not have a home in our city,” said Kelly as part of a joint statement. “The residents of our community have a proven history of supporting and standing up for one another, and this attempt to spread a sickening ideology will be silenced by voices of positivity in Saratoga Springs.”
Unsurprisingly, this news also came as a shock to the Skidmore community. Said Rico Patarini ‘18, “I’ve always perceived Saratoga to be an open and accepting place and you don’t expect to have hate so openly displayed, especially right in the heart of town.” Hayden Smith ‘18 echoed similar sentiments, particularly as someone who, like Patarini, lives off-campus. “It’s pretty shocking and disturbing that the KKK has a presence in this area. It really makes me feel a lot less safe living off campus not knowing who these people are, where they live, or what their intentions may be.”
Patarini and Smith, of course, are not the only upperclassmen who do not live on campus -- and they likely are not the only ones to share this same sense of unease either. But as President Philip Glotzbach recently remarked in an interview with The Skidmore News concerning this “deplorable incident,” it is vital for all students, regardless of whether they live on or off-campus, to feel comfortable when venturing to destinations on Broadway and beyond, seeing that off-campus activities are a notable part of many students’ experience at Skidmore. Glotzbach stressed that continued coordination between the administration, Campus Safety, and the Saratoga Police will ensure that this takes place despite the recent incident of hateful activity.
The Student Government Association’s Committee for Inclusion and Outreach also recently released a statement in response to the event: “Our community must stand together in the face of acts of hatred, and we must acknowledge the fact that there are students on this campus who currently do not feel safe in the Saratoga area. This behavior will not be accepted on campus nor in this community, and we continue to stand against these acts of bigotry.”
SGA also outlined a couple of sources for assistance regarding this matter: “Please feel free to reach out to Latisha Barnett (Director of OSDP) or Emma Sturdevant (VP for Inclusion and Outreach). The Committee for Inclusion and Outreach meets Wednesday evenings from 8-9 pm in Library meeting room 128A, please feel free to join our next meeting(s).”