Lewd banner near UW-La Crosse campus sparks outrage


A lewd banner hung by University of Wisconsin-La Crosse students has sparked controversy after complaints it promotes rape culture.

Pictures of male college students next to a banner saying "Free cream pies w/ valid freshman ID" were shared on social media earlier this week, before a Facebook post by Demi Dahl that was critical of the banner ended up being shared more than 1,900 times and sparked wide debate.

She described the banner as "an unfortunate example of promoting rape culture on the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse Campus."

"You may think this was a harmless joke but the reality is that the more we see posts like this online, the more rape culture is normalized in our society," she added.

When Dahl confronted the students who hung the banner on Instagram, one of them told her "it was a joke, calm down."

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse told WEAU that the banner was displayed at an off-campus student apartment, and said it had also received complaints that several male students were taunting women as they walked by.

The banner was removed last weekend but university officials requested police patrols in the area to ensure student safety. They have reached out to the students involved and are also planning to hold an open forum later this year to discuss the issue.

Chancellor Joe Gow sent an email to students on the first day of classes Tuesday, describing the banner as "highly offensive and sexist" and saying it is "contrary to what our university stands for," according to the Pioneer Press.

"I want all of you to know that UWL strongly condemns this kind of behavior — it is ignorant, it represents our university very poorly, and even if it was meant as a joke, the negative impact on the UWL community is very real," he said.

A study reported by CNN last year found that 23 percent of female college students said they have experienced "some form of unwanted sexual contact," and 11 percent said the unwanted contact included intercourse and oral sex.

At the time, Drew Faust, president of Harvard, said in a statement: "The results warrant the attention and concern of everybody in our community. Sexual assault is intolerable, and we owe it to one another to confront it openly, purposefully and effectively. This is our problem."

Next Up

plow, snow

NWS: Accumulating snow likely this weekend in Minnesota

Fluffy snow will pile up in some locations on Saturday.

Jaden McDaniels

Wolves lose to Magic on Cole Anthony's buzzer-beater

The Wolves blew a 20-point lead as the Magic defeated the Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

J.A. Happ

Twins sign veteran J.A. Happ to add to the rotation

The left-hander will get a one-year, $8 million deal from the Twins.

storm the capitol rally st. paul minnesota state capitol

BCA finds 'no criminal wrongdoing' among those at 'Storm the Capitol' rally

Inflammatory comments were made by speakers, but no charges will be brought.

Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 12.27.04 PM

Man's vehicles crushed by hit-and-run driver weren't fully insured

The goal is to raise $25,000 to help the south Minneapolis resident.

Joe Biden

Key points from Joe Biden's first speech as POTUS

The 46th president called for unity at a time America is facing huge challenges.

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, January 20

The 111 ICU patients is the fewest in Minnesota since there were 109 COVID patients in intensive care on Oct. 1.


Here's what Amy Klobuchar said at Joe Biden's inauguration

The Minnesota senator was one of the leader organizers of the inauguration.

covid-19, vaccine

All of this week's COVID vaccine pilot program appointments are filled

Nearly 6,000 Minnesotans who are 65 and older registered for appointments between noon Tuesday and Wednesday morning.


Fire damages historic building on Wisconsin-La Crosse campus

96-year-old Wittich Hall was the university's original phys ed building. It's still used for gymnastics and swimming programs, as well as offices. Saturday night's fire was put out quickly but there's smoke damage throughout the building. One firefighter was injured.

Mother surrenders newborn at La Crosse fire station

A mother dropped off a 3-hour-old newborn boy at a La Crosse fire station Thursday, invoking Wisconsin's Safe Haven law. Fire Capt. Tony Nickelatti tells the La Crosse Tribune the woman was very helpful and gave a medical history. The Safe Haven law allows a parent to surrender an infant to authorties within 72 hours of birth and remain anonymous.


UW-La Crosse imposes 2 week 'Shelter in Place' after spike in COVID-19

Many students have left campus, despite the university asking them to stay put.

Pawlenty campaigns with Scott Walker in La Crosse

Wisconsin's gubernatorial recall election is two weeks away and the campaigns are in high gear. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty joined Republican incumbent Scott Walker in La Crosse Monday. The pair visited a company that makes agricultural equipment to highlight jobs. Democrat Tom Barrett will campaign in Hudson Wednesday.