Mar 10, 2017 | Statement on Hate-Based Vandalism at 5733 S. University Ave.
To all the Members of the Community at 5733 S University at CSRPC and CSGS:
By now you may have heard that last night someone posted a racist flyer on the main door of 5733 S University. Similar flyers were also posted elsewhere on campus. The UCPD subsequently apprehended a man who was carrying flyers and spray paint, and whose face was concealed by a bandana. We are told that he was released with a warning for trespassing.
This is not the first time posters like this have been found on campus. We want first of all to affirm to our community that this behavior is unacceptable. 5733 S University is and will remain a place where people from all marginalized communities are welcome and working together in solidarity is core to our missions. Next week during exam week from 9am to 5pm, all who wish are welcome to come to the Centers’ Community Room to gather in solidarity and to have a quiet, safe space to read, study, and write.
Second, we want to let you know that we are planning a community forum to discuss recent incidents of hate speech on campus and responses to them at 5710 S Woodlawn on March 29th, at 4:30pm.
Furthermore, we have questions about this event and we will be seeking answers from the administration and from UCPD:
- UCPD apprehended someone vandalizing campus with hate speech posters and issued a trespass warning. Can we be told who this person is? Is there a photograph of this person? How can this individual be identified, if he returns to campus?
- Why was a “trespass warning” issued to someone who is vandalizing property and leaving hate speech around campus? This seems to us an unacceptable response. Will the UCPD consider further charges given the vandalism to our building and other campus locations?
- Had our building not been affected, we would not have known about this. How many times has the University encountered situations like this? How many “trespass warnings” has the UCPD issued?
- Why was there no security alert issued, given that the flyers threatened violence?
- Has the administration’s recent emphasis on “freedom of speech” encouraged a climate in which such physical manifestations of hate speech have become more common and are perceived to be acceptable?
Michael C. Dawson
Director, Center for the Study of Race, Politics & Culture<
University of Chicago
Lucy K. Pick
Director, Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality
University of Chicago