Shivers responds to vandalism in Communications Center

UI Vice President of Student Life Melissa Shivers informs military community of “disrespectful and unacceptable” vandalism in the Communications Center.


Wyatt Dlouhy

The Old Capitol building is seen in 2018.

Sarah Stortz, Arts Reporter

Multiple incidents of vandalism have been reported within the University of Iowa Communications Center.

In an email to those affiliated with the UI military community, UI Vice President of Student Life Melissa Shivers reported several incidents of “disrespectful and unacceptable” vandalism in the Communications Center.

The Communications Center, across the street from the Main Library, houses Military and Veteran Student Services.

“We have attempted to prevent the problem by improving signage in the lobby, and have notified the UI Police Department, which is working to determine the responsible party,” Shivers said in the email.

The email provided resources for student who may be affected by the vandalism, including University Counseling Services and the Center for Diversity and Enrichment.

UI public-safety department information officer Hayley Bruce said in an email to the DI the incident remains under investigation.

“We are proud of our military community and committed to maintaining an environment that fosters understanding and mutual respect,” Shivers said. “While the university recognizes and protects the freedom of speech, even when it is offensive, the university does not protect vandalism.”

This incident adds to a series of other incidents of vandalism on campus targeting specific student populations. These incidents have not been identified as being related.

There were recent reports of vandalism affecting the UI community in March when two incidents of Nazi graffiti were found on a campus mural inside the pedestrian tunnel and by the Art Building on the West Side of campus.

A neo-Nazi card was also found in November 2017 and a white supremacy card was picked up in April 2017. Both of these cards were found in the Main Library.

Racist graffiti was reported in both Catlett & Hillcrest Halls in August 2017, and fliers with racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic messages circulated through UI cultural centers and residence halls in October 2016.