Project Laurier art removed from wall
Last week, the Project Laurier boards in Wilfrid Laurier University’s Concourse were wiped clean and painted back over due to offensive and inappropriate material being written on them.
Wil Schreiber, a second-year student at WLU who started Project Laurier, explained the boards were wiped clean in order to appease the WLU Bookstore. The boards technically belong to the Bookstore for advertising purposes while construction is happening, but Deborah Da Costa, the director of retail and printing services, gave Project Laurier permission to use them.
“We thought it was all good, but then some students went a little buck-wild with the chalk,” stated Schreiber. “Some offensive things were written. … and the Bookstore was not pleased with that so [the boards] had to be erased.”
Schreiber continued, “[Da Costa] felt what was written on the boards was not good for advertising and a lot of vendors that are coming to the Bookstore might see [the boards] and associate it with the Bookstore.”
The Bookstore declined to make a comment about the situation with the boards.
Similar problems occurred while the construction boards outside the terrace were used for the project, but no one else could dictate what was written on them.
Issues with offensive drawings and phrases has been prevalent since the start of Project Laurier, but Schreiber said everyone has been doing their best to keep it under control.
Aaron Lun and Jorge Garrido, fourth-year students at WLU, spent nearly five hours drawing an inoffensive picture on the boards on Feb. 5. According to Lun, they chose to do this because they “wanted to put something positive up there, something beautiful.”
When Lun found out his design had been taken down, he was very upset and angry.
“What had happened was a misunderstanding,” he explained. “The board was erased because of all the other crap. … They ordered the custodial services to wipe [the whole board] and my picture got caught in the crossfire.”
Despite this misunderstanding, Lun plans on contributing to Project Laurier again in the future. “I think [Project Laurier] is a great idea,” he said.
“It’s something positive and nice … [and] it’s a great opportunity to do something really big.”
Schreiber added that another question for students to answer with chalk will hopefully be posted later this week on the boards.
“We’re going to try again to monitor and erase stuff,” he explained. “But if it keeps happening [Da Costa] might send [Project Laurier] an e-mail saying she wants it to stop, because it is [the Bookstore’s] advertising space and we did have to run it by her to begin with.”
Editor’s note: This article has been updated since its original publishing date.