Too much sidewalk chalk degrades campus

Eric Novotny

Eric Novotny

Editor’s Note: This column was held during previous issues due to lack of space on the Opinion page.

I’m confused. At the beginning of the school year, someone spray-painted the Catholic church in a mixed anti-war and pro-choice message. This brought shock and outrage from everyone on campus, myself included. SDSU has a long history of petty vandalism, from Weezer’s flying W to the Evolve Fish (I swear, they’re not mine), to Che Guevara. No one really got worked up about it before, but defacing the church crossed a line.

Fine. But why then is there no outrage when people treat our campus and our sidewalks like their own personal coloring books? Weeks before the election, there has been a futile battle between the Vote Yes and Vote No groups, and the front lines were our sidewalks.

It started off with the Vote Yes crowd saying that “A No Vote is a Vote for Murder”. The Vote No people replied in favor of safe, legal and rare abortions. This escalated into an all-out war resulting in chalkings from Scobey to the HPER. Walking around campus, I think there were more messages for their concert written on our sidewalks then there were people who actually went to the concert. Not that I’m picking on them because I disagree with them, but Vote Yes was responsible for 90 percent of them. Every entrance of every major building on campus was chalked up, and were still visible two weeks after the election.

Now, people can’t post fliers willy-nilly. They need to be an official group, they have to be approved and they have to be removed once the event is over. So why are groups allowed to ugly up our campus as they please? I’m not against free speech. If there’s an issue I care about, I’ll be the first to carry a sign. But when the issue is over and all has been decided, I can’t just leave my garbage everywhere and leave a blight on our campus.

Now that the election is over, are the sidewalks clean? “Nope, hasn’t rained yet” is what the Vote Yes people said. Other than the degrees of permanence, why is it so horrendous that someone spray-painted a church, but no one is outraged when the rest of our campus is vandalized? If the Vote Yes people had to clean their chalk vomit up, I’d bet that it’d take longer than removing the spray paint.

And then, the cherry that topped my sundae was reading Takara Hrdlicka complain about her groups’ message being vandalized. I guess I just don’t feel any pity for a group that felt the need to blight our $10 million Union with $10 worth of chalk.

We, the students and taxpayers, spend too much money for new buildings and maintenance just to let inconsiderate and obnoxious groups commit petty vandalism on our campus, with absolutely no intention of cleaning up after themselves. Someone over at the Students’ Association or the administration needs to consider this issue seriously. If they can regulate fliers and table tents, they ought to regulate our sidewalks.