Graffiti at Texas State, some would call it a growing problem, others a growing creative expression. Regardless of feeling, Texas State is taking action. Texas State Crime Stoppers and University Police are seeking any information about the local graffiti artists and the school may take legal action.
But still the question remains: is graffiti vandalism or art? "Graffiti is art," said Baylee Stokes, a junior at Texas State. When asked about a wall for graffiti artists to express themselves, Stokes responded, "that would be bad ass."
Texas State Academic Adviser Harry Bowers disagrees. "It's a nuisance; it's ugly; it's unfortunate," said Bowers. "I wish we could get it under control."
Another Texas State faculty member, Dorinda Nobel, agrees. "Some people say it's an artistic, creative expression, but I would certainly think there are better ways to express that artistic streak," said Nobel, a professor in the School of Social Work.
Although differences remain, some believe the cause of the differences may be found in culture. "In Austin they appreciate graffiti more and even think it's iconic, you know," said Jemeka Summerhill, an Austin resident and senior at Texas State. "San Marcos is a different city and has a different view on it."
Thomas Hobbs, an Austin resident and senior at Texas State, believes culture plays a part. "Most people don't wake up and say, 'I'm going to try this out; it seems like fun.' They kind of get the idea from somewhere," said Hobbs. "Might be a part of the culture they're in." Hobbs added he does not believe graffiti is bad, but admits there are boundaries.
When asked about his possible reaction if a friend participated in graffiti, Larry Centers offered his support. Centers is a full-time student at Texas State from Nacogdoches, TX. "It's an art; I can't do it," said Centers. "If it's something they can create that is productive and interesting and other people want to see it, I don't see why you would try and keep it away from them."