Cost of UA chalk cleanup – and a second citation of criminal damage

chalk criminalUniversity of Arizona Facilities Management said this afternoon that the actual cost of cleaning up the chalk from the UA protests on budget cuts was $354.73. Cleanup costs had originally been estimated at $1,000. Christopher Kopach, associate director of Facilities Management said that the report on the chalking indicated that at least 80 areas had chalk put on them, including the sides of buildings.

UA employees took care of the first incidents outside of the bookstore, but because this was considered vandalism, UA has a contract with five local vendors through state-required insurance to take care of vandalism cleanup.

There is some great reporting from Arizona Desert Lamp regarding past chalk incidents at UA — go see the list and note that no one was ever arrested in those events, which makes one wonder: Why Jacob Miller? POSTSCRIPT: The ADS is reporting that ADL blogger Evan Lisull was cited today for criminal damage for using chalk on sidewalks. According to the report, police say Lisull was chalking the base of a statue, but Lisull said he only chalked the sidewalk and was doing it in direct protest of Miller’s arrest last week.

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11 thoughts on “Cost of UA chalk cleanup – and a second citation of criminal damage

  1. Wow…who is running this place?  If the vote of no confidence wasn’t enough…two arrests without comment by the University.

  2. The administration hasn’t wasted much time, they’ve arrested another chalker, Evan, the author of Desert Lamp.

  3. Makes one wonder if the $350 was all attributable to Jacob Miller.  Can they prove that he was present at all 80 incidents? If one person chalks in one place, does that make him or her responsible for every chalk drawing on campus?

  4. There is absolutley ZERO difference between this, and some little scumbag gangbangers tagging up an overpass.
    These little brats think that because they “beleive” in their message, that somehow that makes it more valuable than “eat at Joes”, or “Barrio Centro South Side”
    It doesn’t.
    Jacob Miller, you are no better than “shyboi” or ” Tubesock” or any other streetrat tagger.
    Grow up.

  5. Kevin,
    I hope you didn’t mean to sound as racist as your comment. There are worlds of differences in the situation you describe and what Jacob and Evan did:
    1. This was sidewalk chalk, not spray paint. It is easily removed.
    2. Groups all over campus are allowed to use sidewalk chalk to advertise their events and to leave messages.
    3. There message was far more valuable than “eat at Joe’s”,  or I’m sure, your unintentionally offensive reference to the barrio. It was a political statement that Shelton had encouraged them to make when he asked for people to come out of the shadows and protest the legislative budget cuts.
    4. Sidewalk chalk is allowed on the ground. There has never been any evidence that these two students wrote their messages anywhere but on the ground. Yet they were arrested.
    5. The arrests made the administration, after they encouraged such protests, look both moronic and like bullies.
    For all these reasons, I would suggest that Evan’s and Jacob’s actions are far more adult than you give them credit for.

  6. Racist huh? Interesting. 

    1. Easily removed, and yet someone has to take time out of their schedule to remove it don’t they? Are you volunteering to remove all chalk graffiti from now on? Well, I guess it’s OK to inconvenience hard working people when people like you are making excuses for them.
    2. Show me the statue that allows this. It would seem that it not the case since they were arrested.
    3. Tell that to Joe, the hard working restaurant owner who wants to advertise his business. Or tell that to the gang members who (stupidly, but passionately) defend their home “turf”, which is all they know. The importance of their message is relative. If you showed a man from China both messages, you’d likely find that their “importance” to him is equal. You may think their demonstration was great, but please don’t assume that everyone feels the same way. Personally, I am indifferent to the content of the message, as it was vandalism regardless.
    4. “Christopher Kopach, associate director of Facilities Management said that the report on the chalking indicated that at least 80 areas had chalk put on them, including the sides of buildings”  Also the TV news clearly showed the same or similar messages on structures. Granted, without surveilance video, it could have been other perpetrators. Still does not make it any more right.
    5. Enforcing laws/rules is the administrations job. They should be commended, not criticized.

    And for what it is worth, I am an American of mexican descent. My Nana and Tata emigrated here (legally) many years ago. I grew up on the south side of Tucson, and have always known gang members.
    I don’t feel that anyone should be excused for their behavior, whether they are a minority, or if they are attending the University on their daddys dime.
    For what its worth, there are many causes I am passionate about, but if someone of like-mind were to “express” their opinions like this, I would be the first to tell them that they were an idiot, and to stop making the rest of us look like idiots by association.

    1. Kevin: Your arguments are eloquent and I’m glad you pointed out your racial heritage. I do think there is a difference between chalk and the spray paint, however, especially since chalk has been used alot (A LOT!) on UA sidewalks. Its really really common and usually no big deal. The writing on buildings IS a big deal, but the incident was handled incorrectly, especially in light of budget cuts. But the tension on campus is so high right now I think lots of people overreacted.

  7. A sure sign of our descent into anarchy! What loathsome cretins could have conspired to plot such an attack on our social order. The next thing you know, little children will be putting their handprints in fresh concrete with pernicious declarations such as “Bobby was here”, or “Mikey loves Jane”. No civil society can withstand such an affront. Round these miscreants up and prosecute them to the full extent of the law!

  8. Oh, and a few words on Kevin’s list of eloquent arguments.

    1. Yes Kevin, someone has to clean them up, just as someone has to wipe handprints off all the glass doors from time to time. I’m quite sure you have never left a smudge on a doorknob in your time…or have you? In any case, unless they were profane, I would offer the next rain would do a fine job of it, and for a lot less.

    2. Show you the statute that allows it? What statute allows you to post a comment on a bulletin board? Statues don’t ‘allow’ freedoms. They only disallow them.

    3. I wish Joe, the hard working restaurant owner, would stop putting his flyers on my windshield – they stick to the glass when it rains. Perhaps he could use chalk to prevent damage?

    4.  Can’t argue with not wanting buildings marred, but to say if they didn’t hit buildings, it doesn’t make hitting sidewalks right (which is apparently not prohibited) is tarring widely with your brush isn’t it?

    5. Enforcing rules is decidely NOT the administration’s job. Anywhere. Rule enforcement is the purview of executive departments, like the campus police. You can find dictionaries online if you need more help. 

    But in the end I suspect that the decision to drop charges was not motivated by a desire to win commendments from law abiding citizens such as yourself, but rather by an awareness that there would not be any winning of the case. The day chalk is on par with spray paint is the day giving someone the finger gets the same charge as murdering them. But to your credit, Kev, I don’t think calling gangbangers scumbags is as racist as Rosalind perceives it. Gangbangers are scumbags, and where I’m from, they come in all colors. Rosalind seems to be promoting the racist ideology that gangbangers are all minorities.


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