Campus Reform | IU uses student fees to paint BLM mural

IU uses student fees to paint BLM mural

Indiana University allotted student fees to paint a large Black Lives Matter mural on campus.

The university subsequently praised the street mural on its official social media.

Indiana University recently committed student fee money to the creation of a massive mural on the school's main campus. 

The mural, unveiled July 8, was painted on one of the most trafficked streets on IU’s campus, Jordan Avenue, and simply reads “Black Lives Matter,” as reported by The Crimson Post.

The project was conceived by Joa’Quinn Griffin when he was a member of the IU Student Government Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee during the previous IUSG presidential administration. Initially, Griffin, who now leads the DEI committee under the new administration, wanted to pursue the project in partnership with the student government.

[RELATED: UMass-Boston hosts inaugural ‘Black Lives Matter Day,’ unveils BLM mural]

Griffin then partnered with a group at IU referred to as Black Collegians, which is led by IU Tiera Howleit. Together they brought a project proposal before the IU Funding Board, an organization tasked with distributing student fees to groups on campus. 

According to a student who wishes to remain anonymous, the board approved the proposal, allotting student fees to commission three professional artists to design the mural and to pay for paint and other required supplies. 

Notably, a number of other BLM displays were already present at IU, including a large flag outside the student union and multiple exhibits within the union. When asked why his project was necessary given these other showings of support for BLM on campus, Griffin told The Crimson Post that he didn’t feel the other displays were visible or substantial enough. 

[RELATED: DC faces First Amendment lawsuit after allowing BLM mural, but not students' pro-life mural]

Although it only references Black Americans, both Griffin and Black Collegians branded the mural as “all inclusive.” Additionally, despite the controversial and divisive nature of the Black Lives Matter name, as well as the recent controversies surrounding the organization, including their recent statements of support for the communist regime in Cuba and founder Patrisse Cullors’ multi-million dollar real estate dealings, Griffin told The Crimson Post that he stands by his decision to use the money for the mural and hopes to work on similar projects across the country.

While Indiana University praised the project, thanking “the Black Collegians group for bringing this mural to life on our campus,” some students weren’t as ecstatic.

Shelby Fugate, the events coordinator for IU’s Turning Point USA chapter, told Campus Reform that she feels using student fees to fund the project was “wrong.”

“I think it’s incredibly wrong that the campus is using student funds to paint political messages throughout the university. We all know BLM, the organization is a socialist group,...they state this on their website. Indiana University supporting this and using student fees as funding is a significant problem.”

Fugate continued, “Indiana University needs to worry about the education their students are receiving and less about politics and indoctrinating students.”

[RELATED: University earmarks $1 million for COVID-19 hardships of ‘Black and Hispanic' students]

The campus’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter told Campus Reform that YAF “opposes the use of student fees for the BLM mural on Jordan, particularly at a time when tuition rates are rising even during a global pandemic.”

“Indiana University should instead focus on making the institution more accessible and keeping tuition rates low to show that they truly believe what this mural should demonstrate. Instead, it aligns them with an avowedly Marxist organization and the left-wing mob and does nothing to help people of any race on campus,” the chapter concluded.

Campus Reform reached out to Indiana University and the mural’s creators; this article will be updated accordingly.