By Tina Shaygan, September 4 2017 —
A painting on the Rock promoting Calgary Pride was found vandalized early Sunday, Sept. 3, the day of Calgary’s 27th annual Pride Parade. The Rock is a campus fixture located next to MacKimmie Tower which students are allowed to paint messages on.
Queers on Campus club co-coordinator Margaret Patterson said they weren’t upset that the Rock had been painted over, but by what was painted on it.
Vandals painted a large ‘X’ over a rainbow accompanied by the word “pride.” They also wrote the name “Sam Hyde” overtop the rainbow-coloured rock. Hyde is a controversial comedian who frequently employs homophobic language and themes in his performances and is associated with white supremacist movements.
“The Rock is generally really good for promotions, but thinking of the climate right now, there is basically blatant hate out there,” Patterson said. “I have a feeling there is going to be a lot of issues with the Rock, if the school [year] hasn’t even started yet and this is going on.”
Members of the University of Calgary LGBTQ community painted the Rock on Sept. 1 in celebration of Calgary Pride. The vandalism on the Rock was painted over by members of the U of C Orientation team on Sunday afternoon, who said that the messages on the Rock were not reflective of U of C’s campus culture and values.
Patterson said that Queers on Campus club members were glad the vandalism was brought to their attention but upset at the message it sent. They said the outpouring of support has also been encouraging.
“A lot of people have been supportive as well, offering paint, offering to let other people know,” Patterson said.
Campus Security could not immediately be reached for comment.
The Rock has been a topic of controversy on campus in the past. After the 2016 United States presidential election, messages like “lock her up” and “kill all fascists” were painted on the Rock. In June, a group of students stripped paint from the Rock, saying that they hoped to create a clean slate for discourse on campus.