Vandals tagged the Theater and Dance building over break, leaving an indecipherable scrawl that university officials have yet to remove.
Over Winter Break, graffiti appeared on a number of spots around campus, and while most of the tags have been cleaned up, the lettering on the Theater and Dance building remains. According to Physical Facilities Dept. lead painter Alex Glendinning, the department is understaffed due to the university’s new furlough policy, causing a delay in the traditionally rapid process of removing and correcting the work of vandals.
Glendinning said gang graffiti is reported to the university on a weekly basis. Typically, Glendinning said, he and his crew try to remove the graffiti on the same day it appears. Some areas of campus are more prone to vandalism, such as Pardall Tunnel, which Glendinning said his crew often repaints.
However, due to the location and nature of this particular mark on the Theater and Dance building, the team will remove the graffiti through a process of soda blasting in place of the traditional sandblasting method. This process uses a derivative of baking soda mixed with high pressure water to dissolve the paint and ensure the safe absorption of runoff by soil.
Glendinning said he expects the elimination process to start by this Thursday.
“We usually try and take it off as soon as we can,” Glendinning said. “It gets expensive at times, and it takes our time away from other projects we should be working on.”
Mallory Hillman, a fourth-year global studies and communication major, said she did not initially see the graffiti as she walked past the Theater and Dance building.
“It doesn’t particularly bother me,” Hillman said. “If Storke Tower was graffitied, that would be offensive.”
According to Marc Fisher, associate vice chancellor for Campus Design and Facilities, UCSB’s campus policy is to eliminate graffiti as soon as it appears.
“We try to remove it as quickly as possible,” Fisher said. “If we don’t, it proliferates.”
UCPD was unavailable for comment as of press time.