Word from the University of Missouri in Columbia is that students have been warned that a white supremacist group apparently is trying to recruit members on and near the campus. The warning also went to staff and faculty members.

Chancelor Alexander Cartwright and Provost Garnett Stokes sent a message last week saying the recruiting effort is part of a national push to gain members by supremacist groups.

Fliers have been placed around the campus that read: Looking for Young Midwestern Patriots. The fliers displayed a neo-fascist symbol.

A flier was placed on a bulletin board near the MU Student Center and others were posted near bus stops on the campus. The university is monitoring the situation “very carefully,” a spokesperson said.

Young college students can be gullible, along with other adults, and that’s why campuses are targeted by these hate groups. In its warning, the university asked if anyone becomes aware of any activity that might violate university policies to contact the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX. MU policies allow students to be members of outside groups and most of the campus is an open forum for free speech.

The university has made it clear that only peaceful demonstrations will be permitted. MU apparently is prepared to “engage” if it becomes necessary to maintain peace. It does not want a repeat of an unruly demonstration that occurred a couple of years ago.