Washington DC, Feb 8, 2009 / 03:39 am (CNA).- The College Democrats at George Washington University have expelled one of their members after the unidentified student stole and defaced a number of crosses used in a Young America’s Foundation (YAF) pro-life display.
On the evening of Jan. 26 members of the College Republicans found the crosses scattered around the office they share with the College Democrats, the campus newspaper The Hatchet reports.
One cross was pinned upside down on a bulletin board and draped with a condom. Another featured a depiction of Jesus on the cross with the words “pwned” and “lol,” internet lingo for “owned” and “laughing out loud.”
The other crosses were inscribed with the words “Darwin,” “take a condom” and “Amelia West,” who is vice president of the Campus Democrats.
Brandon Hines, communication director for the College Republicans, told The Hatchet that he first saw the crosses during his office hours on Monday night. Pictures were taken and later appeared on conservative filmmaker Pat Dollard’s blog.
A New York-area church had donated the crosses to YAF to commemorate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade in a display on campus.
YAF president Rob Lockwood called the action “completely inappropriate.”
“It’s private property and disrespectful on a number of levels. If they want to do that in their apartment they would have the right to, but these were on display in a public student office.”
A Jan. 29 statement from the College Democrats said that a member of their group had apologized for the vandalism and was expelled from the organization, the Hatchet reports. The member was not named in the statement.
“We would never as an organization sanction such reprehensible conduct and we are tremendously upset that the organization's trust was violated by a member who chose to act otherwise," the statement said.
According to The Hatchet, West also commented in an e-mail:
“A simple apology is not enough to make up for the feelings of those affected and we ask all to realize that our organization has been hurt by this too… And now is the time for us to come together - Democrats, Republicans, believers of all faiths - and bring healthy closure to this incident while embracing the tenets of respect in this academic community."
Lockwood said the vandalism was reported to the university police department and the crosses are now in the department’s custody.
University spokeswoman Tracy Schario said the student responsible for the action has been identified by the school and will face disciplinary action.