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University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student 'very upset' over dorm's Harry Potter mural

A University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student had a serious complaint for his campus official Hate Response Team: he was very upset by a Harry Potter mural in a college dorm. The mural, in the Laux Residence Hall, depicts Neville Longbottom,

A University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student had a serious complaint for his campus’ official “Hate Response Team”: he was “very upset” by a Harry Potter mural in a college dorm.

The mural, in the Laux Residence Hall, depicts Neville Longbottom, a character from the Harry Potter films. The nerdy Neville was played by actor Matthew Lewis, who blossomed into a notable hunk post-puberty. The mural shows him as both a geeky boy and an attractive young man — transformed, according to the mural’s caption, by a stay at the Laux Residence Hall itself.

The depiction of this metamorphosis “represents our ideal society and everything I am trying to fight against,” wrote the offended student, whose name is redacted. “It represents white power. Man power. Cis power. Able power. Class power. ECT [sic] ect. I am angry that I know the people who put this mural up, and I am anger [sic] because I know the people who let this mural be put up. Like I said earlier, maybe I am being a little sensitive, but it is how I feel. This represents, to me, our society, and I do not want it up on this wall. Why do we need a BEFORE and AFTER?”

The complaint, unearthed by a Heat Street records request for reports of bias on UW-La Crosse’s campus, was filed in April. We confirmed the mural remains up, despite the student’s complaint. By deadline, neither of the students who painted Neville Longbottom’s poster had responded to Heat Street’s inquiry.

UW-La Crosse established its “Hate Response” Team more than a decade ago to address acts of bias, prejudice, intolerance and hate on campus. Over the same timeframe, more than 100 other colleges and universities also established similar bias response teams. But recently, they’ve also come under fire in some places for restricting free speech and catering to the most easily offended students on campus.

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