People arriving on the UC Berkeley campus Monday morning can’t fail to have noticed lots of chalk tagging scrawled on many parts of the campus with messages of support for Berkeley mayoral candidate Jesse Arreguín, as well a few mentioning Rent Board candidates. The most common message was “Vote Jesse 4 Mayor,” or variations on that wording.
Christine Shaff said she counted 70 instances of different tags — all of which were made using chalk — after she got to the the campus today.
“They were on Spieker Plaza, Lower and Upper Plaza, Sather Gate, near Dwinelle Hall, Campanile Way and Moffitt Library,” Shaff, who works in the university’s real-estate division, said, noting that the north side of campus had been spared.
Shaff reported the tagging to UC Berkeley Police and began looking into how the marking could be removed.
“We will need to use water to remove it, with power washing, which is not what we want to do,” she said, although she added the campus could use well rather than potable water. Shaff said maintenance crews couldn’t power-wash busy areas during the day so they might have to do it on overtime.
“We have opened a separate work order to track how much it’s going to cost. It’s a distressing waste of our resources.”
Shaff also alerted the Arreguín campaign about the tagging. She spoke with campaign manager Jacquelyn McCormick who was unaware of the graffiti.
Speaking to Berkeleyside, McCormick said she didn’t know who was responsible, but that she could vouch for herself and Arreguín.
McCormick said that, in her day, people would use banners not chalk to convey support, but that she had been told by some of the students working on the campaign that chalk messages were used during ASUC elections and during the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign.
McCormick noted that some of the messages were for the Rent Board slate as well as for Arreguín. She said Shaff had warned her that the mayoral campaign might have to pay for the removal of the chalk.
McCormick said she told Shaff that the campaign would be interested in seeing camera surveillance to try to identify the culprits.
“It’s really appalling that they have defaced places like Sather Gate, monuments, statues and fountains,” she said.
It isn’t the first time expression of support for Arreguín on campus have come in for criticism. Earlier in the campaign, some students working for the campaign affixed flyers on poles around the campus, according to McCormick. “As soon as we were told about it we had them removed,” she said. “That’s not kosher and we assured the university it would never be done again.”
Editor’s note: This story was removed after publication to remove the word “vandalism.”
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