June 30 update: this story was updated to correct an attribution error.
The University of Oregon Police Department is investigating after the Knight Library was vandalized Tuesday morning with red paint and spray paint. The incident occurred between 2:30 a.m. and 3:23 a.m., according to the Clery Crime Log.
Red paint covered the front door to the building. The words “whose racial heritage” and “Schill hated Charlie” were spray-painted on the front steps.
“The university supports the right to free expression and protest in this moment of national reckoning, but we cannot condone acts of destruction,” a UO spokesperson said in a statement. “The university will not let this act of violence distract us from the important, ongoing work in examining how our library resources can further promote equity and inclusion.”
The phrase “whose racial heritage” likely refers to a mural in the Knight Library titled “The Mission of a University.” A phrase on the mural stated that the title means “conservation and betterment not merely of our national resources but also of our racial heritage and opportunity to the lowliest.”
The vandalism covered the original part of the building that was constructed in 1937, according to the statement.
UO Facilities Services employees cleaned up the front entrance at 11 a.m.
Makenzie Elliott contributed reporting to this story.
Editor's note: the original version of this story wrongly attributed the description of "The Mission of a University" to UO student Francesca Smith, when the description was in fact provided by a phrase on the mural.