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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

UPD investigates vandalism outside Clayton W. Williams Jr. Alumni Center

Photo by Photo by: Brian Okosun

The area was thoroughly cleaned Tuesday morning and the only sign that the graffiti was present is the lighter colored concrete left by pressure washing.

Around 3:50 a.m. on April 4, the Clayton W. Williams Jr. Alumni Center was vandalized with a spray-painted message on the Haynes Ring Plaza, according to both the official statement released by Kathryn Greenwade, the Association’s Vice President for Communications, and University Police Department Lieutenant Bobby Richardson.
In black spray paint, the quote “Rape is inevitable, might as well enjoy it — Clayton Williams” was written in front of the Aggie Ring Statue on the plaza, with two arrows pointing towards the Alumni Center building. Greenwade and Richardson said surveillance videos are being reviewed to find the suspects.
The vandalism references a comment Williams made during his 1990 campaign for Texas governor. Speaking with campaign workers and reporters while preparing for an event on his West Texas ranch, Williams compared a period of inclement weather to sexual assault, saying “If it’s inevitable, just relax and enjoy it,” according to a New York Times article published March 26 of that year. Williams said the statement was meant as a joke, but later apologized for insulting survivors of sexual violence.
After reviewing video surveillance of the area, UPD is working to identify three individuals shown leaving the graffiti, Richardson told The Battalion.
“We may be asking for the public’s help or we may ask for witnesses,” Richardson said.
In her statement, Greenwade said the evidence is in the hands of UPD and further comment will be provided once the investigation is finished.
“Surveillance footage of the individuals committing this act has been provided to the Texas A&M University police for investigation,” Greenwade said. “We believe the best way to allow our university police to find the individuals responsible for this act is to allow their investigation to be completed before commenting further.”
The vandalism has reignited much of the debate and discussion surrounding Williams’ controversial 1990 statement as students take to social media to express opinions on the implications of Williams’ comment and the role the vandalism played in bringing this topic back into the public consciousness.

Psychology junior Madilynn Rutherford said she did not find Williams’ 1990 comments funny.  
“I think quotes like that, people who say things like that — they need to be taken more seriously,” Rutherford said. “Too often stuff like this is just brushed under the rug, because people are like, ‘Oh, but he’s a good guy,’ and they don’t really think of anything else. ‘That was just one quote from 20 years ago, not a big deal,’ but it is a big deal, and words have an impact, and it hurts sexual assault survivors and it also just perpetuates a rape culture that we already have.”
Rutherford said she believes the vandalism was timed specifically to line up with April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
“I do think it was a great idea to do it during this month, just because there are already so focused on sexual assault and sexual assault prevention, so I think that was just like an even better way to bring attention to this issue,” Rutherford said. “If it had been done in any other month I’m sure it would have still gotten our attention but this just kind of doubled it.”

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