Seven Gay Straight Alliance signs were stolen off campus between the Candlelight Vigil on Sept. 12 and the Tuesday after.
The signs were placed to promote membership in the club, which works to increase awareness and acceptance of LGBTQ issues and culture, according to adviser Penny Bodell.
“We noticed it sometime Tuesday,” Bodell said.
Bodell said the theft could have happened over the weekend.
Five of the stolen signs were in the center of campus, one at the La-Z-Boy Center, and one at the Tech building. The remaining signs are at the Health Building, Whitman Center, A Building and C Building.
Bodell also said that she does not understand why anyone would take the signs.
“Anything we do here is for the betterment of the campus,” she said.
Bodell sent an email to all MCCC students and employees, describing what happened.
“Whatever the reason for taking the signs, it is viewed as a hate crime,” she said in an email.
Bodell also made an appeal to the community.
“My plea to the campus community is to return the signs,” Bodell wrote. “We will not take further action if our signs are returned – there will be no questions asked.”
The signs cost the GSA $100, which came from GSA fundraisers. The profits from their mug sale purchased the signs.
GSA Interim Treasurer, Ian Leach said he is upset and shocked by the stolen signs.
Leach and Bodell both believe that no one would have questioned anyone taking the signs if the thief was acting normal
“This is the first time I’ve felt that my group is being attacked,” he said.
Leach said that the artwork for the signs was taken from the Diversity Mural hanging in the A-building on campus, and that their slogan “we are one” was a good representation of what the group is about.
He said that he does not think that the signs being stolen has anything to do with the Candlelight Vigil the GSA hosted on campus the Thursday before they were taken.
At first, he said that it might have been some kids playing a prank, but once he saw that the Student Government and job placement signs were still up, he began to see the situation differently.
“Someone fundamentally disagreed with our values,” Leach said.
He went on to say that he understands that people have certain religious and moral beliefs. He said he would not mind a group protesting their meetings, but this was theft of property.
“This is exactly the reason why we are a group,” he said.
Leach said that what bothers him is the principle of the matter.
“We’re not going to stop because some idiot or idiots wanted to steal them,” he said.
Leach said that he could attribute 20 new members of the club to the signs.
Even through the hardship, Leach said that his faith in humanity was restored when an anonymous donor gave $100 to the GSA.
“We felt empowered that someone would donate that money,” he said.
He still hopes that the person who took the signs will give them back, and that if they are returned the club will not press the matter further.
Leach said that the club should continue putting up signs.
“If they get taken again, then we’ll worry about it from there,” he said.
The GSA is still planning a Pride Prom for winter semester and will continue to be a part of the campus.
Anyone with information about the signs is asked to contact Penny Bodell. Her office is A132 and her email is email@example.com.