Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Texas State Faculty and Students Speak up about Graffiti

Texas State Faculty and Students Speak up about Graffiti
   By Christopher Henry
The Texas State University News Service sent out a press release on Jan. 24 focusing on the increase of graffiti on the main campus. Graffiti has been an issue for the university but the recent spike has students and faculty taking sides.
“It’s a nuisance, it’s ugly, it’s unfortunate,” said Harry Bowers, mass communication advisor. “People choose to deface campus, whether they are students or not. I wish we could get it under control.”
Bowers isn’t the only one who believes the university should take action on this matter. Texas State professor Dorinda Nobel understands the artistic impulse that may make a person want to participate in street art. However, she still views the issue in a black-and-white manner.
“It’s against university policy because it’s state owned buildings so they shouldn’t be defaced,” Nobel said. “I think people that engage in that should be held accountable.”
Senior Thomas Hobbs, an Austin commuter, takes a different stance on the issue.
“If someone does some graffiti, it doesn’t really affect or impact my life really,” Hobbs said. “I’m kind of indifferent to it."
Hobbs believes that graffiti is more than just paint on a wall, but rather a stance against today’s society.
“Most people don’t wake up one day and say, ‘I’m going to try this out; it seems like fun.’ They kind of get the idea from somewhere,” Hobbs said. “Might be a part of the culture they’re in, because there’s lots of different people who enjoy doing graffiti and it’s not a bad thing. There are definitely boundaries. That’s kind of the cool thing about graffiti anyways. It’s kind of counter-culture, kind of subversive a little bit so I guess that’s the whole thing about it.” Hobbs said that he has not noticed the graffiti around campus.
Jemeka Summerhill, another Austin commuter, argues that graffiti has a gray area. Though she often sees graffiti in Austin, she believes that it is a cultural and geographical problem.
In Austin, they appreciate graffiti more and even think it’s iconic whereas San Marcos is a different city and has a different view on it,” Summerhill said.
One of the biggest questions that the university police face is not how cultural graffiti is, but rather how it should be handled.
"I think there should definitely be a punishment if you are caught,” said Austin Anderson, education major. She believes there should be an organization to keep up with the graffiti and furthermore considers it purely vandalism. The only question Anderson mind is what constitutes graffiti in regards to the use of chalk and other washable substances that students use as a promotion tool for events, organizations and philosophical rhetoric.
Student teacher Davy Green agrees with the idea that graffiti can be considered artistic and thought provoking, though she believes there is a time and place for everything, even street art.
"I'm all for art, but I think it's not their place to do that,” Green said. "True artists paint and sell their art for thousands of dollars. We don't want to see your art work where it doesn't belong."

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