Wash U Charges Conservative Student Group $846 For Random Graffiti On Campus
John Burns from Campus Gulag passed this on:
Last night I got an email from the student leader, Dirk, over at Washington University in St Louis.
The campus cops submitted an invoice to the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) students for $846 in one lump sum, rather than presenting a line item invoice. I have attached the invoice. It’s absurd, and I hope all can view it to see how absurd it is.
Somebody took a can of spray-chalk (the spray that the gas company might use to mark your lawn) and, using a stencil, spray-chalked a small image of a hammer and sickle on the sidewalk of the campus quad a few dozen times.
The university had the lawn mowing company they had contracted to mow the lawn (subcontractors using mexican labor)hook up hoses to wash away the images from the sidewalk the at precisely the same time as the YAL students at Wash U and I were erecting the gulag on the quad.
The university, failing to find out exactly who is responsible for the spray-chalking, is holding the YAL students responsible for it. The Campus cops have repeatedly used words like felonious property damage (because the ‘damage’ is in excess of $750, which is a Class D felony in Missouri) in order to intimidate the students and are holding that over the heads of the students like the Sword of Damacles if the students refuse to pay up.
There are several important points to keep in mind here, I think.
1) The students had nothing to do with the spray-chalking.
2) The students are ENTIRELY INNOCENT.
3) The university has ZERO evidence that the students sprayed anything. From what the students have said to me, the campus cops have a video of someone spraying, but they have checked it out and it is NOT any of the YAL students.
4) Spray-chalk is water soluable. And with the 5 straight days of heavy rains that came just days after the 9th, the images would have been naturally washed away. So, it was totally unnecessary for the university to wash them away.
5) The invoice is total CRAP. The workers who washed away the images with GARDEN HOSES were paid at best $8 an hour. For the bill to be in excess of $800 means that the university is claiming that the subs who washed it away took 100 man hours to wash the images away. 100 man hours is the equivalent of 2 and a half WEEKS of work for ONE man!!! Washing away some chalk takes SECONDS!
6) The university, in claiming such bogus damages is committing fraud. This behavior against powerless students is absolutely shameful.
7) The UNIVERSITY IS ENGAGING IN MALICIOUS, RETALIATORY ACTION AGAINST THE STUDENTS for their GULAG demonstration. The main lesson other students are to take away from this is that speech on campus which is contrary to the pleasure of the administration will be met with severe prejudice. This certainly will have a CHILLING EFFECT on student speech.
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