Facilities department removes chalk messages left overnight

Writing in chalk supporting Donald Trump on Thursday night near Centennial Mall.

Rebekah Alvey

Following the results of the election, negative graffiti appeared in prominent locations on campus Thursday night, reportedly making some student uncomfortable and inspiring counter-messages.

Friday morning, university facilties staff cleaned the messages from the sidewalk. Facilities workers were following their normal routine of checking the campus when they noticed the graffiti at Guthrie Bell Tower which prompted removal, according to Chief Facilities Officer Bryan Russell.

“A few people reported things but they were very minor,” Russell said.


Joe Imel with the Daily News tweeted that WKUPD called the messages on campus “not inflammatory.” WKUPD was contacted but has not yet responded to the Herald’s request for comment  

One of the messages written on campus said, “America is now great Obama sucks (explicit) Trump 2016.”

Some students led a movement to remove some of the graffiti and replace it with positive messages. Five freshmen went around campus between midnight and 3:00 a.m. with a trash can filled with water and erased the messages.

Messages with purely political implications like “Trump 2016” or positive messages were not removed in the process. Freshman Cassidy Townsend said she and her roommate were walking a friend to their car when they saw people erasing negative graffiti and decided to help.

According to Townsend, her friend did not feel safe walking to her car alone because of some of the messages.

“If you are just putting a political statement, that’s just your political views, but if you are saying something that’s targeting a specific demographic then it’s problematic, because you are making someone feel unsafe,” Townsend said.

Following the Wednesday protest at Pearce Ford Tower resulting in the arrest of five students and similar protests around the country, unity has been a large concern.

“Across political boundaries and racial boundaries, we should still be able to come together as a cohesive group,” Townsend said.

Reporter Rebekah Alvey can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected].