University officials: Story about SIUC closure is ‘fake news’

( file photo)

By Bill Lukitsch

University officials say there is no truth to the story circulating on social media that claims SIUC will close in August.

“I guess we’ve been a victim of the fake news trend,” university spokeswoman Rae Goldsmith said Monday. “It’s a totally bogus story.”

The article was posted to the official website of the American Tribune on Thursday and has since received more than 5,500 likes on Facebook. It attributes dwindling enrollment to “social justice warrior activity” and local crime, calling the university “one of the most violent campuses” in the state.


The story is built entirely on anonymous sources. The single university official whose name appears in the story is interim Chancellor Brad Colwell, although it only says he refused to comment.

Other fabricated posts from the website assert that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada is an illegitimate son of Fidel Castro and that a nationwide left-wing flag burning session ruptured the ozone layer in response to a tweet from President-elect Donald Trump.

Goldsmith said the university is dealing with emails and calls from those concerned by explaining that the story is entirely false.

“There’s nothing else we can really do,” she said.

Campus editor Bill Lukitsch can be reached at 618-536-3326 or at [email protected].

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