Washington University in St. Louis is charging conservative students over $800 for vandalism they did not commit.
Several red hammer-and-sickle images were found spray-chalked onto the campus sidewalks. Campus Gulag reports:
The university, failing to find out exactly who is responsible for the spray-chalking, is holding the [Young Americans for Liberty] 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.
Essentially–someone defaced school property. The school doesn’t know who to blame, so they’ve blamed the easy target: students who don’t follow the university line.
Also from Campus Gulag:
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.
The university didn’t even bother to give a line item invoice. You can check it out at Gateway Pundit.
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Allie Winegar Duzett is an intern at the American Journalism Center, a training program run by Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia. *Blog entries by interns reflect their personal opinions only and not that of Accuracy in Academia.