Police Search for Those Who Vandalized Faner Hall at SIUC

Apr 18, 2016

Students at SIU-Carbondale are reacting mainly with support for those who spray-painted graffiti on a campus building.

Monday morning, students and faculty viewed black, spray-painted words on the side of Faner hall on their way to class. The words said, "Debt rules everything around me. Monthly Monthly Bills," and then underneath, the date, "May 2nd" was mentioned.

While police are currently investigating the vandalism incident, students voice their views about what the statement may mean.

Melissa Janik, a student at SIU, says after hearing about the graffiti she wanted to see it for herself.

"I saw pictures of it online, so I came out to see what was going on. Although though it's defacing property, I think this is what SIU needs because the university and the state, they aren't doing anything, so I think it's important to get those voices out."

Camille Stone, another SIU student, says even though the action is vandalism, it's for a just cause.

"This is something that's affecting all of these students and like everyone around here, so you've gotta do what you've gotta do. We need to stand up and let these voices be heard."

SIU student Donald Williams says that even though he doesn't know a lot about the incident, the message still stands.

"Me so much, I'm not exactly sure because like I said, I don't know exactly what's going on, but apparently some people want to get their voices out because this is a big deal to them, and there's something that needs to be done about it. So they're trying to let it be known around campus."

Police are currently investigating the vandalism incident.

SIUC officials aren't sure of the intent of the graffiti.

But, university spokesperson Rae Goldsmith says those responsible face punishment.

"It would be considered criminal damage to state property. So, that would be considered a crime that would be prosecutable."

She says SIU-C honors free speech as long as it's not threatening.

"Universities across the country are facing this right now because of the - sort of - political tensions that are growing to provide room for that free speech and also help educate people about what is truly respectful speech."

This incident comes on the heels of a listening session last week on campus related to racism and the campus climate overall.

Goldsmith says university leaders are paying attention to students' concerns and trying to answer questions when they do not compromise confidential investigations.