Offensive stickers found around campus
On Nov. 6, Drake Public Safety received a report that stickers from the National Justice Party were found on the monument near Cowles Library. This report was filed through a Guardian app, and the stickers were around the size of an index-card.
Since then, there have been numerous reports of stickers placed around campus, the majority on poles. These stickers were found primarily off Carpenter Avenue near Opperman Hall in the Drake Law Library, as well as around Cowles, DPS Director Scott Law said. There have also been reports of stickers on University Avenue, which Drake is working with the Des Moines Police Department to remove.
“When we get the reports, we have tried to get pictures of them, so we see where it has been going,” Law said. “There’s a couple reasons for that. One, if we do determine who’s doing it, then we can charge them for damages, but also we have an ongoing report, so we like to try and keep track of it as best we can. And then my staff will attempt to remove it.”
The stickers appear to have been placed in a couple incidents over a short period of days, Law said. DPS has reviewed security camera footage but have been unable to identify who placed them.
“We think we may have identified an individual, but not a person, because the way they were dressed would make it impossible to identify them. But we did identify what we thought was an individual placing at least some of them at a very early hour of a morning,” Law said. “Unfortunately, even with our video, there’s no way to determine who the person is. Their face is covered.”
Law encourages students to continue to report the stickers as they are found and to notify DPS if they see anyone placing new ones.
“If you do see them, report them, take them down, take a picture, let us know,” Law said. “Drake does not want these things here. Letting us know is essential. I understand that students get offended, and they want to let other students know, ‘Hey we shouldn’t be allowing this,’ but if they don’t tell us, letting us know is helpful so that we can go, add to the ongoing case report that we have.”
Legally, the stickers are considered an act of vandalism and the social implications of the group’s values do not align with the principles of Drake, Law said.
“It’s not something that the University wants to have. There’s many reasons, the least of which is a violation of our posting policy. That’s the least of the concerns,” Law said. “It’s clearly not-consistent with the values and rules of our university and what the university espouses to be an important part of what makes Drake the place it is, so they’re just not acceptable to be up there.”