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I’m not in love with your signs

Trashing university art isn't going to help you get a point across.

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

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In the dead of night Sunday, someone placed more than 200 posters across Wichita State’s campus. By sunrise Monday morning, roughly five of the printouts remained on campus. At the time of publishing late Wednesday, just a few remained, including one taped to a bench outside Elliott Hall.

The printouts showed the infamous screenshot of two now-suspended Phi Delta Theta members hanging a banner outside the fraternity house with the words “New Members … Free House Tours” under a headline that read “This is what rape culture looks like.” The pages listed resources to help victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

We The Students, a Facebook page which self-describes as “a collective of concerned students” listed their displeasure in the removal of the signs.

Their post criticized Wichita State — a campus encouraging free speech — for being “hypocritical” and “counterintuitive” for removing the signs. It’s unclear who removed the signs.

“Does the First Amendment apply to all students? (sic) Or just the ones who top officials at the university happen to agree with?”

A letter to the editor published by Deborah Ojeda-Leitner in Thursday’s issue of The Sunflower said that the university is “censoring activists, who were just building awareness.”

Here’s the thing, though. In the post, We The Students published pictures of the signs before they were displaced Monday morning.

“LOVE,” the iconic blue/green statue outside the Heskett Center, is covered top to bottom, with posters crowding the edges. The statue is WSU property.

Removing the 30-plus signs from the LOVE statue is not censoring — it’s protecting art. Try to not damage our property and you might stand a better chance at promoting resources.

Message aside, there are ways to get a point across, and trashing the campus isn’t one of them.

8 Comments

  • “LOVE,” the iconic blue/green statue outside the Heskett center

    If you care so much about the sanctity and preservation of WSU’s art, you couldn’t research Robert Indiana? Bruh, google ain’t that hard.

    [Reply]

  • Thomas Sutherland

    How dare you trash this campus with resources for victims of sexual assult

    [Reply]

  • WSUGrad

    No, that is not what rape culture looks like. But is what litter, destruction of property, vandalism, and waste of student resources look like.

    [Reply]

  • Steve

    Is Evan a member of this frat by any chance?

    [Reply]

  • Survivor

    Ah, a man telling rape victims how to get their message across. Well we tried “no” and that didn’t work…

    [Reply]

    To Evan Reply:

    No didn’t work for you either? Must be like a phenomenon or something…hm…but word on the street is that rape isn’t a “thing.”

    No didn’t stop him from raping me. I’m not sure what else I was supposed to say. That was a creative message…not vandalism. This article however is not creative at all and seems more like personal ethical vandalism.

    Evan, I think your opinion was a little shallow and tactless. Possibly so insensitive that it wasn’t worth making public as a journalist. It didn’t contribute anything positive to the campus culture that is extremely hostile right now. I think you should have kept it straight facts and left your opinion out in this specific instance.

    [Reply]

  • Insider

    If the posters had just been removed from the statue, this defender might make sense. However they were removed from everywhere they were posted. Someone didn’t want survivors seeing them even if they had just been posted on the bulletins.

    [Reply]

  • Benjamin C Russell

    Engineering student here- can confirm that scotch tape on a metal statue does not constitute “damage”. What a baby. Now that the signs are removed, the statue can go back to being a giant blue platitude

    [Reply]

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