The statue of the Blessed Mother on Copley Lawn was vandalized Friday night for the second time in a month, according to an e-mail sent out to students by Todd Olson, vice president of student affairs, and Rocco DelMonaco Jr., vice president for university safety, Saturday afternoon. This is the third incident of vandalism committed against campus statues reported to students since Feb. 22.

In this most recent incident, paint was discovered on the Statue of the Blessed Mother early Saturday morning, according to university spokesperson Julie Bataille. The statue was then fully cleaned, Bataille said.

According to the e-mail sent out to the student body, the Department of Public Safety has enlisted the help of the Metropolitan Police Department to investigate these cases. Additionally, DPS will be increasing its presence on campus, especially in the affected areas and near other religious statues and sacred spaces.

In all three incidents, paint has been used to vandalize campus statues. The first and third incidents both involved the Blessed Mother statue, while in the second incident, which occurred the weekend of Mar. 1, paint was found on the statue of former professor and human rights advocate, Jan Karski playing chess on a bench, which currently sits outside of White-Gravenor Hall.

In Saturday’s e-mail, Olson and DelMonaco decried all three acts of vandalism as inappropriate, especially regarding the two incidents involving a religious symbol on a Jesuit campus.

“All acts of vandalism on campus are troubling because they undermine the mutual respect we try to foster in our university community. That the target of this most recent incident again included a sacred statue makes the act of particular concern. As a Catholic and Jesuit university committed to interreligious understanding, we expect that all religious symbols and sacred spaces on campus are respected,” the e-mail states.

In light of the recent acts of vandalism, officials from the Office of Student Affairs met with students this weekend and plan to hold another student meeting this week to discuss what steps ought to be taken next, according to Bataille.

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