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University, Professor Respond To Poster Debate

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EAST STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – David Mazure is an Associate Professor of Art and Design at East Stroudsburg University. He put his students to the test, and asked what inclusion means to them in 2017.

He explains, “we had no idea where it was going to go.”

Students developed their ideas into 30 posters and hung them around campus.

One’s called “Family Has No Restrictions” and shows families of different color and gender. Another depicts a gay man tearing away stereotypes, while another poster portrays an African American version of ESU’s Warrior mascot.

“It’s to start initiating conversations,” says Associate Professor David Mazure, Art & Design.

The most controversial poster shows President Donald Trump throwing a golf ball in the air, with a dead Puerto Rican child nearby. The student who created it says she wanted to depict how Trump ignored Puerto Ricans after Hurricane Maria.

“I guess I like that one the best because it depicts a strong message,” says April Jones, senior.

“The biggest thing I think about it is inclusion not exclusion,” adds Christian Ferro, senior.

Another piece shows different ways people stand up for their rights. The student who created it incorporated Martin Luther King Jr. and Colin Kaepernick.

The poster was hanging until earlier this week when someone ripped it down. Now, campus officials are investigating.

Professor Mazure expected to get different perspectives from students, but he had no idea this would be the buzz around campus. He says the project has done it’s job: to create conversation. 

“I don’t like it being ignored anymore, I don’t think anyone else thinks its a positive thing to ignore these issues,” Mazure explains.

The Inclusion Poster Project runs through early February.

Eyewitness News reached out to East Stroudsburg University for comment. A represetative says through a statement:

Earlier this week, the Inclusion Poster Project – a joint class project between Graphic Design and Human Rights and Freedom – was launched and 30 posters were installed in various locations of our campus as a part of an outdoor art exhibit. The project was designed to stimulate discussion surrounding issues of inclusion and acceptance by sharing student artists’ expression of their experiences. While the posters are marked with the ESU logo, they are not a representation of the University’s position, but rather our commitment to students’ freedom of expression in the context of an intellectual and educational dialogue.”

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