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Monday, August 3, 2020

Bigoted vandalism found, removed across campus

A student walks by Wright’s Triangle, where racist vandalism was recently erased on Nov. 19, 2018. // Photo by Oliver Hamlin

By Cody Clark and Julia Berkman

Bigoted vandalism was found in several locations across campus and reported to Western administration, according to an email from President Sabah Randhawa on Monday, Nov. 19.

A racial slur was written on the Wright’s Triangle art installation near Sam Carver Gymnasium on Nov. 19, as well as a racial slur written on a study abroad flyer outside Arntzen Hall, according to a WWU Campus Advisory sent out the same day. Various slurs and offensive terms were found written on the namecards of nine residents of Nash Hall on the morning of Sunday, Nov. 18, according to the alert and University Police media log. 

Facilities Management removed the slurs from Wright’s Triangle and are doing a survey of all outdoor sculptures and signage to check for more vandalism, according to Randhawa’s Nov. 19 email. According to the alert, the vandalism at Nash and Arntzen Halls have also since been removed.

According to an email sent by Western’s Director of Communications and Marketing Paul Cocke, additional vandalism was found on a pillar in Fairhaven College on the evening of Nov. 19. He said it has also been removed.

Cocke said at this time there are no suspects. The Western Front requested footage from a surveillance camera facing Wright’s Triangle on top of the Ross Engineering Building. However, the camera is currently out of commission and there is no footage available, Cocke said.

Randhawa denounced the vandalism in his email.

“I am deeply troubled that hateful and bigoted vandalism by cowardly individuals continues to happen here,” Randhawa said in the email. “I want to thank you all for your ongoing commitment to social justice and for building a community that rejects despicable acts like these.”

According to the advisory, University Police and Public Safety Assistants will be doing additional campus patrols in the coming weeks. The email encouraged anyone with information about the incident to contact University Police at 3911 or use the University Police anonymous reporting line at (360)-650-SAFE (7233).

 

**Updated 11/20 at 11:18 a.m. to reflect information disclosed by Paul Cocke. 

** Updated 11/20 at 11:46 a.m. to clarify the dates when the vandalism was reported. 

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