ST. LOUIS — A student leader — called a “senator” — at Washington University in St. Louis was caught removing miniature American flags from a 9/11 memorial display and bagging them as trash.
In a video posted by Young Americans for Freedom, the student can be seen removing the flags and placing them in bags and then carrying them away. A total of 2,977 flags were placed on the lawn representing each murdered 9/11 victim, Fox News reported.
The student removing the flags on Saturday was identified as Fadel Alkilani, who is vice president of finance for the student union. Although Washington University officials condemned the action, they declined to say whether the student would be disciplined, according to Student Life, the university’s student newspaper.
WOW: A student senator at @WUSTL was caught on video throwing away 2,977 American flags from conservative students' 9/11: Never Forget Project memorial.
— YAF (@yaf) September 11, 2021
A member of the WU College Republicans, Nathaniel Hope, filmed Alkilani removing the flags. He said the flags were removed in “violation of school rules.” Moreover, he said the student leader showed “no remorse” for his actions.
The school’s newspaper received a statement from Julie Flory, the university’s vice chancellor for marketing and communications.
“We were disappointed to learn about the disruption to the 9/11 display on Mudd Field,” the statement read. “We condemn the interference with the expression of support by the College Republicans for the victims of the national tragedy that took place 20 years ago today.”
Nick Rodriguez, president of WU College Republicans, called for Alkilani’s expulsion in a statement to Student Life.
“At minimum, I believe he should be removed from both SU [student union] and his [resident adviser] position, as what does it say to be a top American institution, and have yourself represented by a student leader who has no respect for property, campus traditions or the remembrance of thousands of lost lives,” Rodriguez wrote. “Today is about remembering the tragedy, 20 years ago to the day, not to make a political statement. Any reason he can conjure to remove the flags I find ludicrous.”