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April 18, 2024

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Rivalry results in vandalism

Rivalry between the University of Toledo and BGSU has always existed, but the University’s campus police chief said he never expected it to be taken this far.

The Rocket logo for UT and the slogan ‘BG Sucks’ was spray-painted in blue and yellow, UT colors, on-campus at nine different locations early Sunday morning.

‘This type of rivalry is normally done to the Spirit Rock which is not considered vandalism,’ Police Chief Jim Wiegand said. ‘And nothing of substantial damage normally occurs from this rivalry.’

Four UT students are the main suspects in the investigation after being stopped on-campus by Kevin Meyers, a BGSU officer, just two-and-a-half hours before the vandalism was discovered.

Meyers attention was drawn toward the students when he saw three males running through Lot 1 towards a vehicle with a female inside, who was later determined to be a friend of the males. When questioned the students revealed they were UT students who were on the University campus to spray paint the Spirit Rock located between Kreischer and Saddlemire.

The UT students’ names have yet to be released because they’ve not yet been charged with any crime.

Several students who live in Kreischer, including Jacquelyn Dolezal, a sophomore who walks by the Spirit Rock several times a day, said the rock’s decoration has not changed all weekend.

‘There is definitely no anti-BGSU remarks or UT praises on the rock,’ Dolezal said.

The four UT students told Meyers several places on UT’s campus have been vandalized by BGSU students, judging by the colors of the paint used. The students said they were at the University to retaliate for the graffiti done at UT said the police report filed by Meyers.

But both Jeff Newton and John Betori, police officers who handle all police reports for UT, said they have no knowledge of any vandalism on-campus where BGSU students would be suspect.

‘It is possible that this vandalism was not reported,’ Newton said. ‘But most likely it would have been reported by now.’

The UT students told Meyers they didn’t spray paint anything else on campus but the Spirit Rock and Myers told them that if any more graffiti was discovered they would be considered prime suspects.

And more graffiti is exactly what Myers found at nine different locations.

In blue and yellow spray paint the statue outside Olscamp hall, a Fine Arts sign, a federal mailbox, a University mailbox, a BGSU sign outside the music building, a sign outside the Student Health Center and signs on parking lots N, O and 14 were all covered in graffiti.

The various bits of graffiti in all nine locations contain the following words and symbols, ‘BG Sucks,’ ‘UT and the UT Rockets logo.

Several students while traveling to class saw the graffiti and were outraged, including Hope Hammond, senior.

‘Your right to express a disagreement ends where it infringes on another person’s rights,’ Hope Hammond said. ‘We have the right to walk around on a nice campus.

Charges have not yet been filed against the four students. If police press charges it will likely be filed with Bowling Green Municipal Court for either criminal mischief, criminal damage or vandalism depending on the monetary cost to clean up the graffiti.

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