Maryville College hit with vandalism once again

The Pearsons Hall entryway has been spray-painted following this weekend’s acts of vandalism. The MC Physical Plant started working early on the morning of Oct. 17 to begin cleaning the vandalism. Photo by Tobi Scott.

On the morning of Oct. 17, the sidewalk leading into Pearsons Hall reads "#F[***] TRUMP BLACK LIVES MATTER."
On the morning of Oct. 17, the sidewalk leading into Pearsons Hall reads “#F[***] TRUMP BLACK LIVES MATTER.” The MC Physical Plant started working early on the morning of Oct. 17 to begin cleaning the vandalism. Photo by Tobi Scott.
Following this weekend’s incidents of vandalism on campus, the campus has been hit once again. As students went to breakfast this morning, they were struck with shock upon entering Pearsons Hall.

Some time between dinner time on Oct. 16 and breakfast time on Oct. 17, the entire span of sidewalk in front of the dining hall was spray-painted to read “#F[***] TRUMP BLACK LIVES MATTER.”

Between Oct. 14- Oct. 17, there have been at least three different incidents of vandalism on campus – each with black spray paint.

While the defacing of the Covenant Stone is probably the most disrespectful to the college, this incident of both using profanity and painting on such a large scale is quite a shock to the college.

[UPDATE] Vice President of Maryville College and Dean of Students Vandy Kemp has sent a memo to the faculty, staff and students at MC in response to the incidents of the past several days.

“This sort of behavior is rare and cannot be tolerated. For that reason, a $500 reward is being offered for information leading to the apprehension of the vandal,” said Kemp.

Kemp is very careful to state that assumptions should not be made about the vandal based on the content of the vandalism.

Anyone with information about the incident should contact Jack Piepenbring at [email protected].

Updates will be posted as the Highland Echo learns more of this incident.

14 thoughts on “Maryville College hit with vandalism once again

  • October 17, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Truly disrespectful,deplorable acts.

  • October 17, 2016 at 11:33 am

    And because the media continues to report these and give the vandals the attention they seek, such acts are reinforced and will continue. Maybe if the media reported everything good it could find it would beget more positive behavior. Hmmmm.

    • October 17, 2016 at 2:27 pm

      The Highland Echo strives to report on the positive things happening on the MC campus and posts articles bi-weekly.
      This is only one instance of negativity that the Echo is reporting.

  • October 17, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Horrific, despicable act. Hope vandal(s) is/are caught!

  • October 17, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Maryville College is a predominantly white private liberal arts college in rural East Tennessee, an area of the country not known for racial equLity. I’m an MC alum and know I benefitted from white privilege. Clearly there are student on campus who are hurting from the racial injustice in our country, and that same racist culture has always been alive and well in East Tennessee. Maryville please acknowledge your privilege, acknowledge you have hurting student body and find ways to support black lives besides offering them an overpriced meal plan, and a space to play every white persons favorite game of Frisbee. Maybe try the University of Vermont approach of adding a Black Lives Matter flag alongside your America flag. Work together with these students to provide a more productive outlet to their frustration.

    • October 17, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      As a parent of a 2014 graduate of Maryville College, I have seen a wide and diverse student body on the campus. I would dare say that “giving in” to vandals by equating a flag of a divisive movement as on the same level of the American flag is not the best option. Maryville College has one of the best reputations in the country for its educational quality, and also its diversity. In addition, to categorize that all of East Tennessee does not condone racial equality is just as offensive to some of us as the above mentioned perceptions by you.

      • October 17, 2016 at 10:41 pm

        Here here!

      • October 18, 2016 at 7:11 am

        Hi Darla, thanks for your response. There are non-white students on campus, yes. Could the school do a better job of providing an experience that validates their culture rather than asking them to assimilate? Absolutely! I think you and I agree that destruction of property is wrong and while punitive measures should be taken, so should redirecting measures. Let’s look at root cause of this issue, students feel scared and threatened by the racial tension in our country and are feeling it in their own MC home. I hope the school takes time to truly listen to why these students feel this way in their own home and provide re directive support. The Black Lives Matter as a movement is divisive because white people don’t agree that black lives are still treated as lesser than white lives. By shutting down that idea, we exacerbate the problem. I know not everyone who lives in East Tennessee has racist ideals, and it sounds like you don’t so great! I trust you’re taking time to listen to marginalized voices in your community and to stand against racial injustice. We can ALL do better, me too Darla.

      • October 18, 2016 at 7:37 am

        I totally agree, with you.Thank You For posting that..

        • October 18, 2016 at 7:41 am

          I was referring toTerri Johnsons post

    • October 18, 2016 at 12:30 am

      are you serious – let’s divide this country even more by displaying two difference flags – are you saying that a Black Lives Matter flag should be flown alongside an American flag, indicating that the BLM flag is not American. In my heart there lives no racial prejudices and I don’t see color – but I do recognize ignorance in another and that is exactly what I see in your post! Sorry if I offend you with my truth!

  • October 18, 2016 at 7:01 am

    I believe those who truly want change, meaning those who protest peacefully and respectfully are the ones who are most sincere. However, I do not believe that thugs, those who vandalize, and cause violence, want a solution. They want attention. These are not the ones, IMO, who would toss aside their spray cans and rocks and suddenly become peaceful if someone simply offered them an outlet.Just my friendly, peaceful opinion.

  • October 18, 2016 at 9:14 am

    As another white MC Alum whose eyes were opened to the very privilege and inequity (specifically on MC campus) Lindsay lays out above, I agree with her. In our country as a whole, and on that campus, there is not enough listening to the voices of those who are being hurt by our systems and culture. Even in this thread, many immediately give in to their own fear and pride to dismiss the real experience and voice of someone saying something that challenges your privilege. MC has a long way to go, creating more spaces for the voices of people of color and showing solidarity with their (our) struggles would be an excellent step. If it can’t happen there, where will it?

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