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Campus News

Dear Warren Wilson Graffiti ‘Artists’

by Sam Rivkin, copyeditor

When I’m not working as the copy editor of the Echo, I’m a proud member of Wilson’s own lovely Paint Crew. The other day I was taking a stroll, passing through the under part of Kittredge, when suddenly I stopped and had a tiny heart attack. Spray painted in big ugly letters all over the wall was a bunch of crap amateur graffiti spouting some practically illegible pseudo-philosophical statement that the artist thought we all needed to know. Now don’t get me wrong, I like graffiti as much as the next anarchist. And of course there’s a chance that some sketchy off-campus hooligans (those aren’t exactly a rarity here) are responsible. But based on the consistent amount of graffiti all around campus, unfortunately the odds are in favor of student handiwork.

The problem with all of this, apart from its being unacceptably unattractive, is that your friends on Paint Crew are responsible for cleaning it up. Not even the cute little penguins and gnomes stenciled in corners get to stay (I tried to save those but was overruled). In case you all don’t know, spray paint is really hard to remove. I’ve spent hours on a work shift going around campus trying to scrub it all off, but with little success. First we use ineffective hippie cleaner, and when that doesn’t work we have to break out the big bad pressure washer, which is a pain to use. And even then sometimes it doesn’t all come off.

There’s this whole thing we have at Wilson where we’re all about community and realizing that for every questionable thing you do, one of your friends will probably have to deal with it. So for the same reason you try not to pee all over the floors because your friends on Heavy Duty will have to clean it up, don’t spray paint all over public spaces. There are plenty of other dumb things you can do that only result in feelings of personal shame and don’t do any harm to others. So in order to prevent this issue from becoming a recurrent problem, here are some possible alternatives for people who feel that they need to literally make their mark on the world.

  1. Go graffiti in Asheville. We don’t have to deal with it, and there’s that adrenaline rush that comes with the possibility of being pursued by real cops in scary looking cars, or on Segways.
  2. Find some body paint, a friend (or two, or several), and do graffiti on each other. I promise it’ll be more fun than painting on a concrete wall.
  3. Warren Wilson HAS GRAFFITI WALLS. They’re cool. They’re down by the Holden art building and behind Eco dorm. Go crazy on them.
  4. Learn how to do graffiti better. If you’re going to do it at Wilson, at least make it awesome to look at. We’ll probably still wash it off, but it might stay up for a little longer.

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