The past two quarters, however, have seen the highest rates of tagging and other forms of defacement in the past five years. This year has also had the most extreme cases of such acts that have since cost the school thousands of dollars in damages.
Since January, there have been dozens of reported cases of graffiti on both the interior and exterior walls of the facility. In most instances, the writing is small and localized to easily targeted objects such as bathroom placards and book carts.
While many are attempts at sarcasm either aimed at the library or at fellow students, there are numerous examples of rhetoric and symbolism that many would find deeply offensive. According to incident reports from library staff, signs depicting images of women often fall prey to misogynistic doodling, and notes left behind for others to find can demonstrate a deep intolerance of race and sexual orientation.
“It’s not against the politics — that’s not the issue. There’s many options of doing things, and we’re open for all sorts of discussions. But we have to have discussion on political art that doesn’t harm the building,” she said.
The second contention lies with monetary ramifications. The money required to fix the damages does not come from library funds directly.
“The budget comes from state general funds set aside for building maintenance and repair,” said Senior Public Information Representative Andy Fell in an e-mail regarding the budget for such damages.
Currently there is not a definitive figure of how much has been spent this year compared to the past, but this information is reportedly being gathered.
“Facilities Management is in the process of collecting data so that it can be included in the maintenance budget for next year,” Fell said.
Even though the budget for building repair is not directly correlated to the library, Kautzman feels that the two are inherently linked.
ADAM KHAN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.