By Jessica Robinson, Editor-in-Chief
Following the vandalism of the Laurentian University sign on Monday, January 23, the Revolutionary Student Movement-Sudbury put out a statement this morning on Friday, January 27, denying any responsibility for the act.
Many began speculating on social media that the Sudbury chapter of the RSM could be behind the graffiti found on campus on Jan. 23. This was further fuelled by similar graffiti discovered across town, where “RSM’ was emblazoned on secondary schools and neighbourhood buildings.
In their press release sent out this morning, RSM-Sudbury referred to the reaction as a “social media frenzy” in which “wild speculation continues unabated”.
RSM-Sudbury described the events in question, saying “the garish Laurentian University lawn-display at the main campus entrance was appropriately transformed into a giant dollar sign. A slogan denouncing the capitalist post-secondary education system was included to complete the piece.”
In the release the organization states that “although RSM-Sudbury humbly denies responsibility for this sudden bloom of revolutionary expression, let it be widely known that we are in full support of whoever took this initiative!”
They explain that the explicit mentions of RSM in some of the graffiti must be “a nod to [the] organization” by the artist.
RSM-Sudbury dismissed the complaints about the vandalism, saying that those people who were upset by the graffiti “care more about the purity of a few walls than about the cuts and closures imposed on working-class youth, the inaccessibility of post-secondary education for most of us, or its subservience to the interests of profiteers instead of the people.”
The press release further explains that there is an “ongoing police investigation into the past week’s events”, and urges people to “refrain from talking to the cops and avoid providing any information that may put the brave artist(s) at risk.”
The chapter cancelled their winter semester orientation scheduled for Thursday, January 26, posting on Facebook that the police prevented the meeting from taking place.
Most Laurentian students did not take kindly to the graffiti on their campus.
“I think it was incredibly misguided, and not a good way to spread their message,” said Caitlin Morrison, a 3rd year neuroscience student. “I’ve spoken to some other students, and no one’s reaction to this has been positive. It doesn’t make anyone want to support them.”
Connor Koch, a ConEd student in pro year, felt the same way. “I [was] appalled by [the] vandalism and am fully and completely opposed to vandalism as a method of political protest. This does not help advance the cause of the RSM and adds unnecessary cost to the university in clean up,” he said.
“Our community is better than this; let’s show that.”
Dominic Giroux, president and vice-chancellor of Laurentian University, commented briefly, saying, “Any form of vandalism is unfortunate. It’s not the first time it happens on campus and will likely not be the last time either.”
The graffiti was cleaned off of the Laurentian University sign by 4:30pm on Monday, January 23.
Featured photo taken by Abdi Fallatah, contributor