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Former congressman Allen West accuses FAU students of harassment and issues a warning on Facebook

Lulu Ramadan

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Former congressman Allen West posted a warning to FAU students on his Facebook page on April 17 that read, “How dare you animals attack my wife and her professional reputation. This is your one and only advisory notice.”

West’s wife, Angela Graham-West, sits on the FAU Board of Trustees — the 13-member board that makes financial decisions and decisions on university policies — and has since 2011.

According to West, students from FAU allegedly went to Graham-West’s office and “harassed” her.

West is referring to the Stop Owlcatraz Coalition — a group of students that protested the recently retracted deal to rename the stadium after the GEO Group, a private prison company based in Boca.

These students met with individual trustees on the Board encouraging them to end the stadium renaming deal before it was announced that GEO pulled out of the deal on April 1.

West’s Facebook warning was directed at two students who specifically showed up to his wife’s office, “stalked” her at the most recent BOT meeting on April 16, and sent letters to her company, according to the Facebook post.

“This is not a threat, it is a promise that if Angela calls and tells me of one more incident, you will face me, the side of me that you do not want to see,” he wrote in the post.

West posted a similar message on his Twitter account, reading, “To FAU students stalking my wife at Bd of Trustee mtgs, end it now. If u believe you can intimidate her, u are mistaken. Nxt time u face me.”

Four hours after West posted his warning on Facebook, the Stop Owlcatraz Coalition sent out a press release responding to West’s post. (See the full press release below.)

“The FAU administration should issue Allen West a restraining order barring him from all FAU campuses,” reads the email response.

In his post, West referred to an incident earlier this month where two FAU students went to Graham-West’s office at Raymond James and Associates Inc. — a financial services holding company, according to their website.

The two students that went to Graham-West’s office to discuss ending the deal with the GEO Group asked to remain anonymous because they felt fear of their safety after West’s warning.

“It seems like the administration is trying to protect themselves more than their students,” one of the students said.

According to Graham-West, when the students visited, they did not identify themselves and demanded that she resign from her position during this discussion.

The students claim that Graham-West invited them into her office, but Graham-West suggests otherwise.

“I was the one who felt victimized,” Graham-West said. “They came in uninvited.”

According to the Stop Owlcatraz email response, Graham-West also pointed out the student who visited her office at the BOT meeting on April 16 and asked two officers from the FAU Police Department to remove him from the meeting because he made her “uncomfortable.”

“There, [Angela Graham-West] harassed FAU students and instructed two FAU police officers to question them about the meeting (they refused to do so). Allen and Angela West are harassing and threatening FAU students, not the other way around,” reads the email response from the Stop Owlcatraz Coalition.

According to Graham-West, she still doesn’t know who the identity of the student is and, as of now, does not plan to encourage the university to pursue disciplinary action.

“[The two students] should not feel victimized,” Graham-West said. “You cannot victimize an anonymous person.”

Graham-West supports the actions of her husband. “My husband did what he had to do,” she said.

Stephanie Rosendorf, president of the College Democrats, filed an incident report with FAU PD on the afternoon of April 17, following West’s Facebook post because she felt personally targeted by West’s warning as a member of the Stop Owlcatraz Coalition.

“I think it’s sad that we are scared of our Board of Trustees and of our public figures,” Rosendorf said.

According to Rosendorf, FAU PD has been helpful, but informed her that they cannot prosecute West.

“I hope FAU administration takes steps to make sure students feel safer on campus,” Rosendorf said.

According to Scott Silversten, assistant vice president of University Communications, “FAU has been made aware of this situation. We are looking into it and will provide additional information as it may become available.”

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Here is a copy of the Stop Owlcatraz Coalition email sent out at 4 p.m. on April 17:

“PRESS RELEASE: Allen West Threatens FAU Students

Earlier today, Allen West posted a statement on his Facebook page threatening FAU students (see full statement below).

The FAU administration should issue Allen West a restraining order barring him from all FAU campuses, and should release a statement affirming their commitment to students’ and the greater FAU community’s rights to public safety and free speech.

Allen West alleges students are “harassing” his wife, Angela West. Members of the Stop Owlcatraz Coalition, in February and March, met privately with most of the members of the FAU Board of Trustees, including Angela West. As public officials and the trustees of our university, they have a duty to be accessible and accountable to the constituencies they serve.

She agreed to a March 18 meeting at her Raymond James office in Fort Lauderdale. At that meeting, Angela became rude and aggressive and students walked out of the meeting as she began yelling at them.

Students attended yesterday’s Board of Trustees meeting to hear the President and all the Trustees, not just West. There, she harassed FAU students and instructed two FAU police officers to question them about the meeting (they refused to do so). Allen and Angela West are harassing and threatening FAU students, not the other way around.

Allen West – ‘I completely understand the Alinsky tactics and have no issue with the insidious and incessant personal attacks by the left against me. However, I am warning you, end your harassment of my wife Angela. The students from Florida Atlantic University who have gone to my wife’s office, stalked her at the FAU Board of Trustee meetings, and sent letters to her company headquarters, end it now. This is not a threat, it is a promise that if Angela calls and tells me of one more incident, you will face me, the side of me that you do not want to see. My wife Angela is an American citizen and if you believe that you can intimidate her to surrender her freedoms you are mistaken. Those left wing groups and lawyers associated with these individuals supporting their antics, I recommend you disassociate yourself. How dare you animals attack my wife and her professional reputation. This is your one and only advisory notice.’”

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