SOU students arrested for anti-gay graffiti

Two men allegedly wrote slurs on dormatory walls

By Hannah Guzik
Ashland Daily Tidings
May 19, 2010
Police have arrested two Southern Oregon University students for allegedly writing anti-gay graffiti in dorms on campus and they will face a disciplinary hearing Thursday, university officials said.

Ashland police arrested Kevin Novotny, 20, and Blake Adkins, 19, on April 30 in connection to the graffiti incident, police said. Both were cited for second-degree criminal mischief and Adkins was also charged with second-degree intimidation, according to the report.

Officials do not believe there are additional suspects in the case, said Jonathan Eldridge, SOU’s vice president for student affairs.

An SOU board consisting of students, professors and staff members is expected to decide late this week or early next week whether Novotny and Adkins will face discipline from the university, he said.

“We continue to take this seriously and we hope to have final resolution on this within another week or so,” Eldridge said Tuesday.

If the students, who both live in dorms on campus, are found to have violated the university’s code of conduct, they could “receive anything from a warning to permanent dismissal,” he said.

The hearing is separate from any criminal proceeding Novotny and Adkins may face as a result of being cited by police, Eldridge said.

Residents of Diamond Hall found anti-gay graffiti scrawled across their hallway walls and doors shortly after midnight on April 8. Detectives believe the graffiti was intended to intimidate residents of the dorm, which began housing students in a mixed-gender environment this academic year.

Similar graffiti was found in Hawthorne Hall, police said.

The graffiti disturbed residents of the dorms, prompting them to hold campus meetings and speak out about gay rights.

SOU officials believe the incident was isolated, Eldridge said.

“The vast majority of our students find this type of behavior reprehensible and aren’t willing to stand for it,” he said.

Contact staff writer Hannah Guzik at 541-482-3456 ext. 226 or [email protected].

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