In an incident ringing similar to that of April’s “chalkening,” students found paintings on the Quad reading “Trump 2016” and “F— Mexico” early Tuesday morning. The incident has sparked further outcry about racism and free speech on campus.
According to a statement, the university was alerted to the markings created in a paint-like substance after College Republicans reported it to Public Safety not long after midnight Tuesday morning, and the university filed a criminal damage to property report.
Around 2 p.m. Tuesday, Public Safety apprehended a 22-year-old student, and turned them over to Chicago police who charged them with criminal damage to property. They were released on bond.
“The markings in the Quad last night run contrary to the type of environment we foster at DePaul,” DePaul President Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, C.M., said in a statement. “Destruction of property and profanity are never acceptable ways to voice opinions. This slur against Mexicans goes against everything DePaul stands for. We will work to identify the individual, file charges with the police and bring the university’s disciplinary process to bear. If anyone has knowledge of this matter, I ask them to come forward.”
This is honestly so hurtful. pic.twitter.com/0hkpovgbRR
— Yung_Edgamos (@erod26) May 24, 2016
Chalkings last month – which included support for conservative candidates and phrases such as “Build a Wall” – generated similar controversy on campus. The university removed the chalk under its policy which prohibits political messages on campus.
While College Republicans took responsibility for that incident and defended their actions as free speech, the group’s president, Nicole Been, said the group was out for pizza last night while this incident occurred and returned to find the paintings. A university spokeswoman said that the College Republicans reported the incident to Public Safety, which is how the university first learned about it.
“I can 100 percent confirm it was not us,” Been said.
This comes hours before Milo Yiannopoulos, a conservative journalist and speaker marked by controversy, is scheduled to make an appearance on campus at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Some students have called for the university to ban Yiannopoulos, while others have planned a counter event in the quad later this evening.
On Twitter, Yiannopoulos suggested that the quad paintings were “another progressive hoax.”
“The responsibility for a vibrant intellectual debate rests with everyone,” Holtschneider said in a statement. “I encourage the campus community to raise your voices in support of our friends and colleagues of Mexican descent.”