CHICAGO - Sure, chalk was used to write evil sayings on DePaul University's sidewalks, such as "Make DePaul great again,” “Blue Lives Matter,” and “Trump Train 2016,” but that's not why chalk messages are no longer going to be tolerated at the Chicago campus.
It's because those political sayings anonymously placed on the school's walkways could endanger the 501(c)3 tax status of the school, a memo sent out by DePaul's vice president for student affairs said this week.
“While these chalk messages are part of national agendas in a heated political battle, they appeared on campus at a time of significant racial tension in our country and on college campuses. DePaul is no exception,” Eugene Zdziarski wrote in a campus-wide email obtained by Campus Reform.
And those messages were determined to be "hurtful" and "divisive."
“The university has been addressing campus climate issues in an effort to provide an inclusive and supportive educational environment. In this context, many students, faculty and staff found the chalk messages offensive, hurtful and divisive,” the memo went on to say.
It's all about a federal prohibition that restricts students from participating in any political activity that could be interpreted as a reflection of the university’s “views or opinions.” Political chalking on Depaul’s grounds, Zdziarski argued, fits this description.
“However, as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt non-profit organization, the university is significantly limited in the types of political activities it can promote or support,” he wrote. “In accordance with federal regulations, DePaul may not engage in any activity in support of or opposition to any candidate for public office, federal, state or local. In practice, this means no partisan political advertising may be conducted on campus that could in any way be attributed to DePaul University.”
What does DePaul University College Republicans President Nicole Been - whose group was accused of hate crimes for the sidewalk chalkings last week - think about the DePaul vice-president's memo?
We've asked her, and will report as soon as she responds to our query.