The University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire has a vandal problem. Specifically, someone (or a group of someones) who think the pro-life students should not be allowed to chalk pro-life messages on campus. Unfortunately, the school has a history of vandalization. This is not the first instance.
The leader of the Students for Life group shared the following after the vandalization was found:
“Last night, our club chalked and all of them were ruined. Three of us were working on Garfield Ave and right after we had moved to the next one, two girls dumped 2 full water bottles on them right in front of us. Later that night, some of the exec board went back on campus to look around. Literally everything was scuffed or had water dumped on it so it none of the chalking were readable. We did have and RA write to us on Facebook and apologize on be half of the campus and was willing to write a statement for us to give to the dean when I email him later today.”
The directness here was actually a new one for us. Usually, chalk vandals strike overnight to ensure that productive dialogue is avoided. But, as abortion supporters get more and more enraged, we’re seeing more of this type of direct aggression.
So that’s the bad news. Their vandals are both brazen and thorough. The good news is that the school doesn’t approve and has publicly deemed their behavior unacceptable. In a letter to the students, the school’s dean said:
As a public university, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire honors its commitment to the First Amendment of the Constitution. This is consistent with the mission and vision of the university. As an educational institution that challenges students to develop their intellectual, personal, cultural and social competencies, acts of incivility are contradictory to the rigorous inquiry, insight and empathy that are foundations of a transformative liberal education.
UW-Eau Claire’s Students for Life organization recently promoted some of their events and activities with chalk messages across campus. Not long after they created the chalk messages, someone defaced those messages. It is important to know that chalking is an authorized method for promoting events and activities by recognized student groups. Pouring water and smudging those chalk messages is an act of incivility and is prohibited. We are a university that challenges students to develop their intellectual, personal, cultural and social competencies, but trampling on the rights of others is not acceptable.
All members of the university community have rights guaranteed to them under the First Amendment of the Constitution. These rights provide us the opportunity to express our beliefs and opinions on matters that are important to us. These rights should never infringe on the rights of others.
As a member of the UWEC community, you have a responsibility to combat incivility and send a clear message that we need to respect the rights of others even if we do not agree with their views on an issue. In the “marketplace of ideas” not all ideas will resonate with you, and those ideas may even make you feel uncomfortable. If you disagree with someone’s position on an issue, please do so respectfully.
Either way, good for these students for holding their ground and keeping their heads up in the face of adversity! Violence & vandalization are practically expected from abortion supporters on college campuses nowadays (which is truly tragic).
If you’re a student facing discrimination and you’re looking for help, let us know! We’ll walk you through. In this story, the group contacted their SFLA Regional Coordinator, Noah, who helped them figure out next steps – made easier by the school’s positive response.
Below are some more pictures of the incident.