the great thing about a chalking day is that it makes the university's intentions so transparent. why would they send security officers to crack down on students with sidewalk chalk??
why is it silly to be tough on chalking/chalkers? three obvious reasons:
- chalk eventually is erased by the outdoor elements
- it's a creative way for students to engage with their campus
- it brightens up an ugly blank cement facade.
so allan rock, you should back off, because your obvious student/prof/fun busting motivation is like a bad thong and we can all see it.
below is a letter sent from the organizers of chalking day to president allan rock. the best part about this letter is the invitation to allan to come add his own message to the chalkboard.
it always baffles me as to why university administrators don't battle students with kindness rather than heavy handedness. so instead of sending hired goons to threaten and discourage chalking, why didn't allan rock himself show up, ask for a piece of chalk, and write a goddamned message and support a great idea? don't they understand that calling the police provokes students while going to participate in chalking day could foster actual conversation??
so enjoy the wonderfully crafted letter below. maybe those of us at york university should take the chalking day cue and organize our own beautification of campus soon, because everyone knows york ain't nothin' but ugly concrete.
Members of the same U of O "Protection" force that yesterday facilitated an illegal police intrusion into the Student Appeals Centre (SAC) office and the violent arrests of student Marc Kelly and SFUO President Seamus Wolfe came uninvited and disrupted the student-organized Chalking Day event at the Morisset cement poster backing walls.
Please back off Mr. Rock.
There was absolutely no "Protection" need that required a muscular intervention and disruption of our event. Student participants were harassed by Protection agents and their pictures were taken without their permission.
Despite your unfortunate intervention, the event was a success. Over 30 students contributed to filling the backing walls with colourful political messages of all types. We recommend that you read these messages Mr. Rock.
The "Protection" officers displayed disturbing unprofessional behaviour. They openly threatened the ludicrous criminal charge of "damaging University property" but then proceeded to watch and not even warn most students who contributed to the chalking. They threatened criminal charges backed by their photos but did not intervene or call Ottawa Police to stop the alleged dreadful "damage to property".
Political and informative messages in chalk on a campus wall is not a criminal offence. Drop the guns and handcuffs, Mr. Rock. Send your "Protection" agents to actually protect. For example, they could protect freedom of expression.
We ask you not to remove any of the student participants' messages, and to respect Chalking Day. The "Protection" officers did explain your logic of hiring an expensive removal crew in order to demonstrate "damage" and assign it a monetary value, but don't go there Mr. Rock. Don't go there. Don't spend our tuition money to remove our free expression. Your officers and lawyers have better things to do.
Consider instead adding your own message to the wall, about one of your human rights projects in Africa, say.
Also, we welcome your suggestions about parts of the chalking that could be removed. In this case we would do ourselves (using water and a brush).
Student Chalkers of the University of Ottawa (SCUO)