Swastika defaces Students for Life chalk display
A Students for Life sidewalk chalk display was defaced with drawings of swastikas Tuesday evening.
EMU’s Students for Life is an on-campus chapter of the national pro-life organization, Students for Life of America.
Rueben Ainley, vice president of EMU’s Students for Life denounced the incident, saying that the student organization’s goals were “to create meaningful, civil and loving conversations.”
The university learned of the incident late in the day Tuesday.
“Once we learned about the situation, our DPS initiated contact with the students involved in order to learn more about what happened, when it occurred, and when,” said Geoff Larcom, executive director of media relations at EMU.
The incident is currently under investigation by EMU’s Department of Public Safety, according to Chief Bob Heighes, and there are no suspects at this time. Heighes asked anyone with any information on the incident to contact the Department of Public Safety.
“We certainly don’t condone this behavior and are investigating this to the fullest degree,” Heighes said.
Ainley said his organization is not unfamiliar with acts of protest, but was taken aback by the swastika graffiti.
“Whenever we have events we know that there might be protesters there. I was not expecting something of such an intolerable symbol to end up on our sidewalk display so it was surprising to see that,” said Ainley.
Ainley said that before the graffiti, someone had splashed water on the chalking. He found out about the graffiti when going to class the next day.
“Monday morning I was walking to Pray-Harrold and it was by the Chase ATM machine, where we did our big Choose Life sidewalk display, and that’s when I noticed four or five swastikas,” Ainley said.
He took pictures of it with his cell phone and sent it to Students for Life of America. The organization published the incident and the story spread.
“There is no room on this campus for hate symbols of that nature and we plan to investigate thoroughly,” Larcom said.