Guidelines placed in Remembrance Garden after crude chalk messages

Signs display purpose of garden, chalk wall intended to honor students who passed away during their time at U.Va.

ns-RemembranceGardenSigns-nzugris

The signs outline the intended purpose of the University Remembrance Garden.

Nick Zugris | Cavalier Daily

Multiple signs were recently placed in the newly-opened University Remembrance Garden in an attempt to clarify the intentions of the site after crude messages were written on the chalk wall. 

The signs outline the intended purpose of the Remembrance Garden, specifically stating that the purpose of the site is to “provide the University of Virginia community a place to gather, reflect and express messages of remembrance, healing, and hope to honor individuals who have passed away.”

Messaging guidelines for the chalk wall are also posted on the signs. Individuals can only use chalk to write on the wall, and cannot write on anything other than the wall. Flyers and other postings are not permitted anywhere within the garden, and the wall will be cleaned every Monday morning before 9 a.m. 

Christopher Hastings, a fourth-year College student and co-chair of Student Council’s Buildings and Grounds Committee, said the signs were posted by the Office of the Dean of Students and Facilities Management after numerous student complaints were received about disrespectful content on the chalk wall. 

“Within 24 hours Student Council had heard a number of student complaints about the offensive nature of messages written on the wall and communicated those to the Office of the Dean of Students,” Hastings said. “The signs were added by Facilities Management and the Office of the Dean of Students.” 

Hastings noted the reflective and memorial nature of the garden, and added that Student Council hopes the signs will prevent students from using the space for purposes other than its original intent. 

“Messages advertising [Contracted Independent Organizations], job opportunities, speaker forums, or containing profanity run contrary to the purpose of the garden, and may prevent students from using the space for reflection and remembrance,” Hastings said. “We hope that the signs will better communicate the purpose of the garden, as some passersby might not immediately grasp the sanctity of the space.”

The Remembrance Garden opened to the University community Nov. 10. The project dates back to 2004 and construction took place this past summer after Student Council received a grant from the University for the project in December 2016. 

related stories