Group finds chalking erased due to homecoming
Published: Sunday, October 13, 2013
Updated: Sunday, October 13, 2013 23:10
UConn’s Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) found their chalking efforts being washed away Friday morning.
They alleged that the chalking had been removed by request of UConn President Susan Herbst.
SSDP Vice President Kevin Oliveira said that one of the maintenance workers told him he had an order from the president’s office to power wash the chalk.
SSDP Chief Financial Officer Tyler Williams said that they were upset because members had spent hours the night before chalking.
A Facebook post by SSDP read “Censorship? Check. Freedom of Speech? Violated.”
University Spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said President Herbst did not order the chalking to be removed.
“President Herbst absolutely has not ordered any removal of chalking either for homecoming weekend or any other event at any time,” said Reitz. “Whoever said it was a direct order from her is categorically mistaken.”
SSDP members were chalking messages such as “10 Rules for Dealing With the Police” to promote their Know Your Rights event.
Reitz said that the Facilities Operations crews remove chalk depending on their own schedules.
Landscape and Building Services Director Dave Lotreck said that it was his decision to remove the chalk.
“Unfortunately they picked some brand new granite to write on,” said Lotreck. “Also, because of the game tomorrow and more activity on campus we want the campus looking as good as we can for visiting parents and students.”
Lotreck said that if the students had written on the roadway instead and it was not the weekend, they probably would have left it.
SSDP members chalked in more spaces than they did before the original chalk was removed.