CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

U of U officials searching for vandal who defaced Block U during Pride Week

Apr 5, 2022, 7:47 PM | Updated: Jan 5, 2023, 2:45 pm
(The Block U at the center of campus, after Pride Week had completed.  Photo: Paul Nelson, April 5,...
(The Block U at the center of campus, after Pride Week had completed. Photo: Paul Nelson, April 5, 2022)
(The Block U at the center of campus, after Pride Week had completed. Photo: Paul Nelson, April 5, 2022)

SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah is looking for a vandal responsible for two anti-LGBT incidents that reportedly happened at the end of Pride Week. Some students say they were sad to hear about these cases, but they’re not fully surprised.

Pride Week vandal

The most visible incident happened at the Block U at the center of campus.  It’s a yearly tradition to wrap the U in pride colors to celebrate Pride Week, but on the final day of March, someone reportedly put strips of duct tape on the letter, then wrote messages on that tape in black marker.  Officials with the university say one message was against trans-sectionalism, which isn’t the same as transgenderism.  The other said, “Don’t listen to the CCP propaganda,” which is likely a reference to the Chinese Communist Party.

Now, the Block U is back to its usual crimson color, and many students hadn’t heard the “Pride U” was defaced. 

“It kind of makes me sad to think that people that I go to school with would perform an act like that,” one student said.  Another asked, “What are they trying to spread with that message?”

Finding those responsible is unlikely

School officials say identifying the vandal is unlikely since no surveillance cameras were pointing at the U at the time.  However, they say moveable cameras have been aimed at the letter since this happened.

Some students say they know not all of their classmates fully support Pride Week. However, those students don’t normally talk about it very often.

One woman said, “On one of the popular apps around here, people have been kind of upset about the fact that [the university] brought awareness to Pride Week.”

Another student says the vandalism is a sign of a different problem.

He said, “I think it mostly a hallmark of divisive politics and, essentially, where we are where some of these buzzwords become more important than the actual issues at hand.”

The university’s Racist and Bias Incident Response Team are trying to find the vandal.  They’re also looking into the case of someone ripping down a poster promoting an LGBT event.

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U of U officials searching for vandal who defaced Block U during Pride Week