Peter Maxwell | The College Fix
Chalking threatens our tax-exempt status, DePaul warns.
Chalk messages triggered not just students but faculty and staff at the nation’s largest Catholic university.
DePaul University’s Black Student Union accused its College Republicans (CRs) of a hate crime because they organized the April 4 chalking outside the Student Center, with messages that alluded to Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump and praised police and Israel.
Though BSU representative Michael Lynch told The College Fix that he filed a hate-crime report against the CRs, both the DePaul administration and Public Safety department toldThe Fix they had not received any such report from Lynch.
In a campuswide email Monday obtained by The Fix, Vice President for Student Affairs Eugene Zdziarski said “many students, faculty and staff found the chalk messages offensive, hurtful and divisive.”
They also violated campus regulations by endangering DePaul’s tax-exempt status, he said – a claim that has been repeatedly challenged by a free-speech legal advocacy group.
Wide latitude to ban chalking
The DePaul CRs’ event is part of a recent campus movement known on Twitter as#thechalkening, in which students have chalked messages associated with conservatives – as simple as “Trump 2016” and as provocative as “abortion is murder.”
Such messages have angered students and aggravated administrators at Emory University, the University of Kansas, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, University of California-Santa Barbara and University of Michigan, among others.
The DePaul chalking included Trump allusions such as “Make DePaul Great Again,” “Build That Wall” and “Trump Train 2016.” They also referenced the pro-police Blue Lives Matter movement, support for Israel and other presidential candidates.