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President Wiewel responds to Pioneer Log inquiry with statement on graffiti incident

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On Jan. 28, President Wim Wiewel submitted this statement to The Pioneer Log in response to questions regarding his Jan. 26 email on the recent graffiti across campus. At the request of Wiewel, his statement is being published in full.

I’ve been asked to elaborate on the statement sent out on Tuesday regarding the spray painting on campus. We don’t know who was involved and whether they were members of our community or not. But its widespread scale and threatening nature worried and disturbed many community members. I heard this on Monday as I walked around campus.

Campus Safety informed me that a report to the Portland Police Bureau was filed as part of their standard operating procedure of filing a report whenever a property crime occurs on campus, whether it is a car break-in or act of vandalism. We did not call the police to come to campus, and they are not investigating. There’s nothing unusual about how this incident is being handled.

I’ve explained my role in decisions made at Portland State University during my time as president there. I encourage people to read the full letter I wrote last summer and included with my statement on Tuesday.

As I’ve said there, I was involved in that decision, and that Jason Washington being shot and killed by the PSU police was horrible and tragic. If I had known then what I know now, both in terms of what happened to Jason Washington and in regard to alternative forms of securing public safety, I don’t believe we would have taken the same approach.

As I have said repeatedly, I will never propose or support any effort to arm Lewis & Clark Campus Safety officers. Fortunately, the campus is quite safe. I hope we can keep it safe and, in the liberal arts tradition, engage in respectful dialogue about issues.

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