A message on both sides of the Rock saying “JABBA SUPPORTS BLACKFACE” in gold paint covered the Taiwan Unwrapped design on Sunday. Red paint was also splattered across the Rock.
The Residential College Board began staking out the Rock on Saturday night. McCormick sophomore Taiyo Sogawa said he fell asleep while guarding the rock and believes he woke up to newly-added red paint.
“It’s very shocking, especially for Wildcat Days,” he said. “There’s a lot of prospies coming around and that’s not really the impression I want to make.”
As of early Sunday evening, there were no leads about who wrote the message. Weinberg senior Janissia Orgill, For Members Only coordinator, said she has sent out a number of emails to students on campus in order to decipher the meaning of the message after hearing about the paint issue Sunday night.
“I think that there’s a lot of emotion that gets stirred up with the term ‘blackface’ in general so there’s a little bit of anger and a lot of confusion as to why anybody would paint this on the Rock,” she said.
Orgill also mentioned how a past incident on campus added to her shock upon learning of the Rock’s message.
“Even if it’s meant as a joke and given Northwestern’s history with the blackface incident during Halloween, everyone knows that it’s a touchy subject to mention,” Orgill said.
As of Monday morning, Vice President of University Relations Alan Cubbage had no further information about the blackface message. He is exchanging emails with university police and the student affairs office, but so far has not found any new information.
“It is obviously something that we will look into,” Cubbage said. “When something like this happens, it does not reflect the values of the Northwestern community and obviously it is a matter that concerns the university.”
Weinberg junior Pamela Hung, conference director for the ITASA Midwest Conference this weekend, said she was not aware of the new paint on the Rock. She declined to comment on the situation.
More to come.