Stanford University student-athletes rallied at the school on Monday to put pressure on the administration to reinstate 11 sports. They gathered outside of Building 10, in which University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne’s office is located, and sprayed chalk slogans on the building and its arcades.
The athletes returned later in the afternoon to clean off the chalk after the rally.
"…they came back with water buckets and cleaned it up." https://t.co/PJiSA12VXW
— Eric Cramer (@ericmcramer) April 27, 2021
According to the Stanford Daily, the rally was hosted by 36 Sports Strong, an alumni advocacy group trying to reinstate the 11 discontinued sports. The rally took place on the day that the Stanford Board of Trustees held a special meeting to reconsider their decision to drop the sports.
They have not yet announced the outcome of their discussions, but KTVU reports that “it will be rendered by the president and the provost in the coming weeks.”
#ReinstateThe11 Trends With Calls to Find Alternative Funding
Stanford announced last July that the sports programs needed to be discontinued as a cost-cutting measure after the pandemic negatively impacted the school budget.
A series of tweets from Lea Suzuki, a photojournalist at the San Francisco Chronicle, show a group of students wearing black shirts, carrying signs, and chanting outside the building. It also features photos of the chalk paintings.
— Lea Suzuki (@Lea_Suzuki) April 26, 2021
Despite efforts to clean the defaced buildings, Stanford expressed disappointment at the student’s actions.
“While we acknowledge that a group of students did come back to help wash off the paint, this behavior runs counter to the spirit of respectful dialogue and is all the more surprising in that it occurred even as we have been engaged in substantive discussion with 36 Sports Strong to fully understand and explore their perspectives,” a spokesperson wrote to the Stanford Daily.
“We are currently assessing whether any permanent damage was done to the buildings and whether any violations occurred which would lead to disciplinary action that would be handled consistent with established university processes.”