The recent vandalism on campus signs and poles, which feature threats against the Berkeley College Republicans, adds to a growing list of harassment against the campus organization.
Various pieces of campus property have been vandalized with death threats against BCR. The graffiti, which has been found in spaces like the Unit 1 Housing sign and a pole by Crossroads, includes messages such as “KILL BCR,” “BEHEAD THE B.C.R.’s” and “LYNCH the B.C.R.’s.” Recently, the group has had its contact list stolen and signs destroyed. Members of the BCR contact list have also been sent harassing emails by anonymous senders.
Campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof said in an email that the campus condemns all acts of vandalism and threats no matter the perpetrator or the target. According to Mogulof, the graffiti was removed after it was reported and a UCPD detective is currently investigating the incident.
“All members of our campus community have a right to feel safe and not threatened based off political viewpoints or club affiliation,” said ASUC President Will Morrow. “Vandalism does not speak to (campus) values and my biggest priority is making sure everyone, including the Berkeley College Republicans, feel safe on this campus and you cannot feel safe with such incendiary rhetoric being vandalized around our campus.”
BCR spokesperson Naweed Tahmas has been a member of BCR for a year and said that threats against the group have not increased or decreased in the wake of the recent election of President Donald Trump. Tahmas said, however, that the organization has faced constant threats. He added that he believes some community members have projected their worst ideological fears onto BCR, causing others to be more aggressive against the organization.
Tahmas said that BCR takes these threats very seriously and they have forced the group to be more cautious and constantly aware of their surroundings. According to Tahmas, when BCR receives threats, it immediately contacts UCPD to allow the campus police to document the harassment.
“There isn’t much we can do about it beyond reporting,” Tahmas said. “It’s up to students to manage their behavior towards us and understand that we are students as well.”
UCPD spokesperson Sgt. Sabrina Reich said in an email that UCPD is aware of the recent vandalism to campus signs and is investigating the incidents. Reich and Mogulof both encouraged students to report any disturbances they witness.
“We urge anyone with information about this matter, or other offensive/threatening signs or graffiti to contact the UCPD,” Mogulof said in an email. “We also want to remind the community that anyone can report graffiti by calling the graffiti hotline at 643-0890.”