graffiti

Graffiti spray painted on and in front of Schaeffer Auditorium on Kutztown University's campus.

Vandals spray painted satanic symbols, such as 666 and the pentagram, on Kutztown University academic buildings on Oct. 30.

“Whether it is more than a prank, we don’t know,” said Bryan Salvadore, Director of KU Communications. “It did happen on the night before Halloween. It is still under investigation. (KU Police) are taking it very seriously.”

Kutztown University Police received the report of graffiti around midnight. The graffiti was concentrated in the north end of campus affecting eight academic buildings.

Salvadore said that at that time of night, there is not much activity in the north end of campus except for custodial staff; student housing is located in the south end of campus.

In an Oct. 31 announcement to the KU Campus Community, KU President Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson and Dean of Students Dr. Donavan McCargo wrote, “The safety and security of our campus community is paramount. As we have stated before, Kutztown University highly values and respects all campus constituents and celebrates diversity. We will continue to advocate for an environment wherein all those associated with our university can feel valued and safe.”

Anyone adversely affected by the graffiti were encouraged to contact campus resources, including but not limited to, Faith-based Organizations 610-683-4923, Office of the Dean of Students 610-683-1396 and University Counseling Center 610-683-4072.

“Vandalism to our campus is not acceptable. It is punishable by law and can result in serious consequences for the offenders. Vandalism impacts the quality and appearance of our campus, it impacts us financially, and places a strain on our facilities department,” they wrote.

KU facilities staff worked all day Oct. 31 to remove the graffiti. Estimated damage was about $5,000 to $8,000, according to Salvadore.

University Police are seeking assistance from the campus community. Anyone with information should contact University Police at 610-683-4002. Anonymous tips can be provided through Berks County Crime Alert at (877) 373-9913.

“Thank you for your attention to this matter and your role in promoting a safe, secure, and welcoming campus environment,” wrote Hawkinson and McCargo.

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Lisa Mitchell is an editor for Berks-Mont Newspapers, covering news and events in the Northeast Berks County area.

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