Responding to Vandalism Today

April 12, 2010

To: Campus Community
From: David Buckley, AS Executive Director
           Drew Calandrella, Vice President for Student Affairs
           Robyn Hearne, Acting Police Chief, University Police Department
           Paul Zingg, President
Subj: Responding to Vandalism Today

Posters for one of the AS President candidates were found today defaced in one of our academic buildings. The face of the candidate was covered with a black "X" and a racial term was scrawled across the poster. Student Affairs and University Police were immediately contacted and UPD is investigating to see if we can find who was responsible. Because of the racial remark defacing the posters, this vandalism will be investigated as a possible hate crime. To commit a crime against a person because of his or her race, ethnicity, religion, gender, disability or sexual orientation is against the law in the state of California.

As the campus message last week following Cesar Chavez Day made clear, our campus values promote understanding and respect for all people regardless of their differences. We will not tolerate criminal acts of hate or prejudice directed at members of our community. This was not just an attempt to impair the right of free expression for a candidate for elected office, but an effort to injure and defame him because of his race and ethnicity. Such acts create a hostile and troubling environment not just for the person whose posters have been defaced, but for other members of our community.

We strive for an inclusive campus community that is supportive of all members and thoughtful in its discourse regarding difficult issues. To that end, we invite you to attend a forum this evening, April 12, on race relations at Chico State that is sponsored by the AS, the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center, and the Office of Diversity. It is at 7 p.m. in the BMU Auditorium.