University of Utah reports Pride Week vandalism

Block U decorated for Pride Week. Photo: University of Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, April 4, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — The University of Utah has shared a statement detailing “two acts of hate and bias during the University of Utah’s celebration of Pride Week.”

Vandals attempted to interfere with the advertising of an event at the Marriott Library, by removing a poster promoting events, according to information from the U.

After another poster was printed and placed, within an hour, “it was removed and crumpled up and placed in a nearby garbage can in the lobby.  It appears the removal and damage of the posters was perpetrated by the same individual.”

In the second incident, the Block U outside the University Campus Store, which has been wrapped in the colors of the Progress Pride Flag, was vandalized.

“An unknown individual(s) took two strips of duct tape, stuck the duct tape to the block U in two different places, and wrote messages in black marker on those pieces of duct tape. There was no permanent damage to the block U or the pride wrap, and University Police officers were able to immediately remove the duct tape.

“The messages written on the tape were ‘F*** Transectionalism’ and ‘Don’t listen to the CCP propaganda.’ Although unclear, ‘CCP’ is likely a reference to the Chinese Communist Party,” the U of U statement says.

“The term ‘transectionaism’ refers to the idea of intersectionality that individuals have multiple pieces about our identity that intersect and inform how they experience the world and how they are treated within it. Although the intended meaning of these messages is not entirely clear, because these messages were posted on the block U that was wrapped in the Progress Pride Flag, during pride week, it appears that this was a targeted piece of vandalism/defacement directed at LGBTQIA+ communities.”

No surveillance cameras directed toward the block U at the time of the incident, but moveable cameras have since been directed toward the block U, the statement says.

“Today, we must acknowledge the harm and hurt our trans and non-binary campus peers experience in the wake of these incidents,” says a statement issued by the university. “But simply acknowledging that pain is not enough. As a Pride Week message from our Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion division reminded us this week:

The disappointment and heaviness of fear cannot be swept away with a simple nod of acknowledgment. If we are to ensure that every student and colleague knows they are valued and that the U is their home, our commitment to create an equitable and inclusive campus must be vigorous, and we must act every day.

The issued letter added that Student Affairs and Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion professionals constantly working to improve the ways “we show up to support each other and work to create a more inclusive and welcoming world.

“Hateful and biased behavior has no place on our campus. We are committed to rooting them out and continuing our work to create a welcoming and safe campus dedicated to respect, diversity, inclusivity and belonging.”


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