2004 | Bathroom graffiti still leaving its imprint

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Published 2011-10-17T21:43:00Z”/>


Looking Back


“<em>Bathroom writings draw complaints” vol. 53 issue 9, Oct. 20, 2004</em>

In 2004, jokes, artwork and messages adorned bathroom stalls on campus, costing an estimated $40 an hour and $280 dollars per week for cleanup. Graffiti in bathrooms made extra work for custodians and cost the university money.

What cleaning chemicals couldn’t remove had to be covered up by painters. On top of drawings and writings, gang messages were found by Facilities Management and Services employees. The messages were reported for pictures and documentation to University Police, who kept all gang-related graffiti in a scrapbook. University Police Sgt. Robyn Hearne discussed how the graffiti cost money and was a destruction of state property.

“We all have to pay for it,” she said.

Unlike other campuses, Chico State did not offer an outlet to avoid vandalism.

Somer Flaherty, a San Francisco State student, said the humanities building bathrooms had chalkboards.

While political opinions and love stories were told, disrespectful messages and business advertisements also made their way onto the boards, she said.

With funny, interesting and even thoughtful messages written in Chico State’s bathrooms, there are also the vulgar and obscene at a cost to the university and ultimately, to the students.

<strong>NOW</strong>: “This too shall pass … ” can be seen in Taylor Hall’s first floor women’s bathroom showing how graffiti continues to plague Chico State’s bathrooms on campus. Removal costs the university money and personally affects custodians who take pride in keeping the campus clean.

Custodians have specific work areas and take offense when their building’s bathrooms are defaced, said Steve Lininger, Facilities Management and Services night custodial shift manager.

“It’s like a slap in the face to them,” Lininger said.

A wrinkle-finish paint has been used recently and has had better results in warding off graffiti. Spray cans and sharpies are the main utensils used, but almost anything that can be put on walls, including human waste, has been seen, said Dennis Jones, co-manager of the night custodial shift.

Hate crime-related messages and gang-related tags are found and photographed to be kept in an updated computer database by University Police.

Artwork and messages written on walls may be appealing to the person bored in a bathroom who wrote, “The wise and meek write on bathroom stalls, the daring and brave choose the walls.”

But the vandalism is a state of California offense and an expense to remove, Jones said.

University students should have the common sense and maturity to avoid such behavior, he said.

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<em>-Compiled by Kathleen Dazzi


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