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Backlog: Vandalism or Expression

Republished from the Backlog 1989, pg. 28-29.

Everyone has seen the many looks of the Bison this year. It has worn everything from zebra stripes to Bush/Quayle stickers. Some students label the spray-painting of the Bison as art. According to Junior Jason Shelton, it is a way of expressing inner feelings. Todd Roland considers it a harmless way to “blow off steam” and would rather see the Bison paint- ed. than a building or a car. This certainly becomes true when the “art” is an expression of a rival school.

During the week of the election. the bison hit twice in one night: first with Bush stickers, then orange paint.

Yet other students take a more serious opinion. Sophomore Todd Burleson feels “the person(s) responsible for this must not have any respect for our school.” Many students are outraged at this violent act against our mascot. Sally Hughes asks, “What ever happened to school pride?”

Some who think the painting is vandalism also provide solutions. Eric Owens states that “ … any- where else, the violators would be fined or imprisoned.” Phil Fite feels “if the Bison isn’t taken care of … then it should be taken down and put in storage until we get some students who respect school property.” These answers may need to be considered if the spray-painting is actually a form of vandalism.

But, will these solutions work if it is not an act of vandalism? Can the students’ creativity be stifled this easily? Or will other outlets emerge? According to some opinions, the painting is vandalism and should be punished. But to others, it represents a creative art form. Who is right? Only you can decide.

The Backlog staff has determined the paint on the bison is at least 22 layers and 5/8″ thick.

Article by Laura Smith

Photos by Bob Lawler