Black Lives Matter posters vandalized

By The Beacon | March 30, 2016 6:53pm

BLM-poster
Photo by Katie Dunn.

Update 3/31/16, 6:11 p.m.: Director of Public Safety Gerald Gregg confirmed that the incident of Black Lives Matter posters being torn down in Buckley Center Tuesday night was referenced in the Crime Log posting, along with a student writing "sexy" on a poster of students' faces (not a Black Lives Matter poster). 

Gregg said there were two Black Lives Matter posters found in the trash can in the men's bathroom on the second floor of Buckley Center after P-Safe was called to in response to the student writing on the poster of students' faces. 

"The reporting party suspects (the student writing on the poster) took down the (Black Lives Matter) posters, but we can't verify that," Gregg said.

Gregg would not release the full incident report of Tuesday night's incident, saying the investigation of the Black Lives Matter posters is still undergoing investigation. 

Update 3/31/16, 3:24 p.m.: Philosophy professor Jeffrey Gauthier's poster on the second floor of Buckley was torn down as of 2 p.m. this afternoon. His poster had previously been put up with packing tape.

Update 3/31/16, 1:28 p.m.: Black Lives Matter posters were torn down from sociology professor Ashley Mikulyuk's office Tuesday 3/29 around 9 p.m.

Update 3/31/16, 12:10 p.m.: Black Lives Matter posters were torn down from philosophy professor Lara Trout's office door four times in the evenings while she was out of the office prior to Tuesday night's incident, according to an email Trout sent to the Presidential Advisory Committee on Inclusion on March 18. Trout said that she has never received any note or indication that someone has taken or borrowed the flier for some reason.

"After learning my flyer had disappeared three times, four of my colleagues on BC 2nd floor hallways put a BLM@UP flyer on their doors, in solidarity (just before Spring Break)," the email said. "This morning (March 18), not only was my flyer gone, but all four of theirs were gone as well."

by Melissa Aguilar and Clare Duffy |

Black Lives Matter posters were torn down from Buckley Center Tuesday night, according to an email professors received from the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Michael Andrews. The email from the dean said that the person committing the vandalism was a student, but did not mention a name.

Students at the racial inclusion panel on March 22 also reported hearing from professors that similar posters were torn down on another recent occasion.

Public Safety officers responded to a reported incident of vandalism in Buckley Center on Tuesday around 9 p.m, according to the Crime Log. Officers made contact with the suspect, who the Crime Log says was not a member of the university community and was escorted off campus. Wednesday night, Public Safety was unavailable to confirm whether the incident in the crime log was the same as the incident in Andrews' email.

According to Michael McNerney, communications and technical coordinator for Public Safety, the incident cited in the Crime Log involved the removal of personal property in a public area.

McNerney said the case is still under investigation and would not release further information.

Sociology professor Ashley Mikulyuk said Andrews also sent out an email to all CAS faculty the week of March 13, alerting them to another incident of Black Lives Matter posters being torn down earlier in the school year and vandalism in a Buckley Center bathroom in December. The email encouraged staff to be vigilant.

The incident in the Buckley Center bathroom was listed in the Crime Log in December 2015.

In that case, a professor discovered a swastika had been carved into the door of one of the male bathroom stalls on the second floor. It was removed by Physical Plant shortly after.

This incident is required to be included as a hate crime in the University's Clery report, a federal law that requires all colleges receiving federal funding to share information about crime on campus, according to McNerney.

Melissa Aguilar is the copy editor for The Beacon, she can be reached at aguilarm16@up.edu. Clare Duffy is the news editor for The Beacon, she can be reached at duffy17@up.edu or on Twitter @claresduffy.

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