Multicultural Greek Rock sees repeated vandalizations
Outside Park Library sits the Multicultural Greek Rock, a landmark for historically Black fraternities and sororities on campus. The organizations use the rock to promote messages they are passionate about, most recently “#BLM” for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Soon after painting the rock as a group, the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) was frustrated to see the rock vandalized in bright yellow spray paint with the words “Cop Killer.”
The vandalism, though recent, is not a new sight to the NPHC and Multicultural Greek Council.
The NPHC said vandalism of the rock has been happening for years. In recent months, the messages have become increasingly aggressive. In the past, the rock has been vandalized with solid yellow coloring over the NPHC’s messages, swastikas and writings of Adolf Hitler.
Morgan Stephens, Vice President of Finance for NPHC, said the group has learned to resolve situations themselves.
“To me, it comes to a point of internalized oppression. You are less likely to report and say things if you just know what the outcome is going to be,” Stephens said. “Our first reaction is never, ‘Let’s go tell President Bob Davies.’ Instead, it’s ‘Who’s gonna cash app me for spray paint?’”
In June, Facilities Management personnel brought the continued vandalism to Davies’s attention. He went to the rock and spoke with the members of NPHC and Molly Schuneman, Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority life.
Chicago senior Alexis Robinson-Dear said nothing more than a conversation came from that gathering. There have been no efforts by Davies or other organizations to find who is continuing to vandalize the rock, the Vice President of Communications for NPHC said.
“I think it’s because of the demographic that it’s brushed off,” Robinson-Dear said. “It keeps happening because they know nobody is going to do anything about it. That’s the issue.”
The NPHC posted their formal stance on their Instagram page for the Black Lives Matter movement and spoke out about the continued injustices and unlawful killings of innocent African American’s by law enforcement over the years.
Due to recent social unrest in the United States, the rock had read ‘BLM’ and was put there by members of NPHC. The organization to promote their organizations and support the multicultural students that take part in them. It serves the only place on campus to promote the platforms of their organization.
Student Activities and Involvement is in the process of planning how to move forward. Schuneman suggested ideas such as lobbying for a sign to put in front of the rock or security cameras to be installed.
“CMU has made a commitment to inclusivity and fighting for what is right,” Schuneman said. “This is blatant racism that happens multiple times a semester right in the middle of campus. Nothing has been done about it. SAI is committed to action; I wish other powerful entities on campus would step up as well.”