Spray Paint Violence at Wellness Center

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Mural Wall by Wellness Center. Photo by Lillian Wade.

This past fall break, the mural over by the Wellness Center was vandalized with obscene drawings and messages. The mural in question is suspected to have been defaced between Oct. 23-24, with the vandalism having first been reported on Monday morning.

The vandalism has yet to be removed due to the ongoing investigation and it is unknown how the Wellness Center is going to pay for the repairs. They are looking for any students that would like to volunteer their time and talent to help fix the mural.

The mural was designed to be a symbol of hope and love to those struggling with suicidal thoughts.  Messages on the mural read, ‘keep going’, ‘Live on’, ‘Be Kind’, and one was covered in smiley faces. The mural was colorful and brought light to that corner of campus. Rachele Holbrook who works at the Wellness Center said, “I just wish if someone had had an issue with the message, they would’ve come talk to me instead of being destructive.” 

The spray paint over the mural says ‘BBHN’ and ‘XOBBAN’ on two panels, as well as ‘Jesus and there are crosses and tears on the smiley face, and the expletive ‘F***’ written over a rainbow sunset. This mural has been up since the beginning of the semester. The previous mural was up for many years and never vandalized.

Student Grace DeBry expressed her outrage when she saw the vandalism, saying, “this act was uncalled for. Why did they have to ruin something that was created out of so much love?” This act may be seen as very divisive and unwelcoming to LGBTQ+ students or students that are struggling with mental health issues, due to the rainbow color scheme and messaging. Francisco Escobar, Pride Club Vice President, said, “​​I feel like these things shouldn’t happen. The Wellness Center is a place where many people feel safe to talk about [their] problems. These acts frighten us.”

The Snow College motto this semester has been “Badgers Belong.” With acts like this, it is easy to see why some Badgers feel like they don’t belong, or even, feel unwelcome and unsafe on campus.

Any information about this incident can be anonymously reported to the Wellness Center or Campus Police.

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