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Facebook Page Sparks UW Controversy

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A Facebook page called UW Crushes has come under fire after a harshly-worded statement was  posted on the page about a University of Wyoming Student.

A screen capture of the post has gone semi-viral and is making the rounds on Wyoming Facebook pages.  In it, the UW Crushes posts a status where an individual states that they want to copulate with a specific UW student in a hateful manner.  The student, Meg Lanker-Simons, is a UW student and blogger who hosts a politically-focused talk radio show on a low-wattage Laramie community radio station.  The content of the show is generally, but not exclusively, critical of conservative politics.  Lanker-Simons has posted her thoughts on the issue on her blog.

The post made by UW Crushes, allegedly on behalf of a person who submitted the comment to the page, cites Lanker-Simon’s political views as being a reason for their anger.

Chad Baldwin, an official spokesperson for the University of Wyoming, calls the post “hateful and intolerable.”

“The university doesn’t tolerate any form of violence, and the Facebook post likely constitutes a violation of the student and employee codes of conduct.  If any students or employees are responsible, appropriate action will be taken against them.”

The UW Crushes Facebook page is not affiliated in any official capacity with the university itself.  The Facebook page allows a person, sometimes anonymously, to submit statements to be posted as the UW Crushes status.  Many times these statements are professions of affection for other students at the University.

A typical UW Crushes facebook post.  "
A UW Crushes facebook post. (facebook)

The post referencing Lanker-Simons has since been removed from the UW Crushes Facebook and an apology issued by a user claiming to be the founder of the page.

“I am really sad about what happened recently in the page. As we have all noticed that we are getting lots of negative reviews and comments because of some inappropriate posts, not just because of the last incident, but however we apologize to all who felt bothered.”

The founder of the page went on to say that due to the volume of requests they get in  a day, not all of them are read before they are posted.

Lanker-Simons dismissed the apology saying she felt the “excuse” was unacceptable.

 I don’t care about this ‘sorry you were offended’ apology, I really don’t. You are lying through your teeth. You hid the post from the timeline. Then, you continued to post other messages on your site.

Let us know who you really are, and then maybe we’ll be able to judge whether or not you’re truly nice and kind people. ‘We don’t read them’ IS NOT an acceptable excuse — it makes you look careless. If something happens to me, you are personally responsible.

 

University Spokesperson Baldwin said in an interview with the KOWB News Center that the University Police are investigating he incident and are considering if the post constitutes a criminal violation.  He further went on to say that the University has also taken action on the use of the University Seal on the Facebook page, as the seal is a trademarked image.

Lanker-Simons made headlines in 2010 when she was a plaintiff in a successful lawsuit against the University of Wyoming.  The University was sued after it had dis-invited controversial figure William Ayers from speaking on campus.

A screenshot of the controversial post that has been circulating on facebook, including a response from Lanker-Simons
A screenshot of the controversial post that has been circulating on Facebook, including a response from Lanker-Simons. (Facebook)

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