Daily Egyptian

Letter to the editor: Did somebody say ‘riot’? Yes, May 2 Strike Committee did

By SIU student Laini Watts

There was a strange commotion in the past couple of days.

Faner Hall was vandalized with cries of reformation, visible to those would walk by. Less than 24 hours later, the May 2 Strike Committee writes a response, and I read it in the Daily Egyptian, insulted by how the May 2 Strike Committee treats the student body as if it is stupid.

Why do they play coy when it comes to the graffiti? Why remain anonymous if you truly have no connection to the graffiti as you implied in your letter to the editor? Do you honestly expect me to believe that this committee has nothing to do with what happened Monday? My final question: Did somebody actually say “riot,” as your headline states?  

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Here are my answers to these questions.

May 2 is most likely linked to the “May 2 Movement,” which was the first protest of the Vietnam War. During 1964, several universities formed protests against fighting and the draft with a slight emphasis of the future of education.

Fast forward to sometime in the wee hours of the morning of April 18, someone, or more likely a group of people, spray painted these phrases on Faner: “Debt Rules Everything Around Me, monthly monthly bills, y’all,” “You Are Not A Loan,” “Riot Proof? We’ll see,” and “May 2nd.” Sometime during the April 18, the Daily Egyptian is given the committee’s manifesto of sorts to publish. This as well as the committee’s “Call for a Student Strike” is on the blog may2strike.noblog, which I might add is less than 48 hours old as of Wednesday.

Looking at the cached data on the website, this blog started near the time of Monday’s graffiti incident. And yet the May 2 Strike Committee has the audacity to refer to the perpetrators as “the graffiti writers” as if there is no connection. You don’t know what “the graffiti writers” were thinking? What a crock of shit!

You are telling me that while forming this committee, someone who was not a part of your group decided to vandalize Faner with ideas you already had in mind? Or perhaps you formed this committee around the idea of what “the graffiti writers” wrote?

Either way, it all seems highly coincidental to me.

The May 2 Strike Committee said they have no plans to riot. So the next question is why bother with the message of “Riot Proof? We’ll see”? Just to get attention? You already got it with the other messages.

Why didn’t the word “Strike” come up at all with the messages on Faner? You try to distance yourself from “the graffiti writers” yet want to embody their ideals, since clearly you have no connection with them.

You can’t do that.

Either embrace the graffiti or adamantly stand against those who committed this crime, but you can’t have both.

So to the students, staff and faculty of Southern Illinois University, let me answer these questions. Why do they play coy when it comes to the graffiti? Because someone among them committed a crime.

Why remain anonymous if you truly have no connection to the graffiti as you imply in letter to the editor? They are connected with this crime, so they must hide themselves to avoid the investigation.

Do you honestly expect us to believe that this committee has nothing to do with what happened Monday? Apparently, they do. They expect us to take this at face value.

Finally, did someone actually allude to a “riot”? Yes, they did.

Laini Watts is a senior from Homewood studying journalism.

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