The Littlefield Fountain in front of the UT Tower was found marked with graffiti and water dyed purple Thursday morning, according to a tweet by the UT Police Department.
The red spray paint read: “This is the blood of survivors that UT ignores,” next to a depiction of a hammer and sickle.
UT Facilities Services crews removed the spray paint Thursday, UT spokeswoman Cindy Posey said. As the red paint was being removed, the water began turning purple, according to UTPD’s tweet.
Posey said Facilities Services workers found two spots where it appears dye was poured into the fountain, causing the purple water. Facilities Services will have to drain the fountain, clean it and refill it in order to remove the purple water. As of 9 p.m. Thursday night, the fountain had not been drained.
“I think it’s unfortunate for the larger campus community to have to deal with vandalism,” Perez said. “Whatever message the perpetrators used is equally as likely to turn people off to their message as achieve their goals. I don’t know how many man-hours it takes to drain the fountain, clean it and remove the spray paint, but those costs have to come from somewhere.”
UTPD is currently investigating the incident.
“The use of the hammer and sickle is offensive and should be offensive to everyone,” said Luke Perez, government graduate student. “It’s a reference to the Soviet Union and, I gather, intended to suggest that the people who vandalized the fountain believe in communism. It’s disgusting.”
Accounting junior Aaron Hannie said when he first saw the purple fountain he thought it was planned for International Women’s Day, and then he saw the graffiti and thought it was a disrespectful way to get a message across.
“I don’t agree with the incident in general, but I respect the want to call attention to issues surrounding UT and the support of women,” Hannie said.
Undeclared freshman Rebecca Miller said she thinks it was wrong to deface school property and the person or group responsible should be held accountable. However, she thought the purple fountain looked nice and coincided with International Women’s Day.
“It certainly made a bold statement, and it definitely caught a lot of students’ eyes, so their opinion was heard loud and clear,” Miller said. “But there’s other legal ways to convince people for what they stand for.”