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Purdue News

Two students arrested for vandalism after posting “Wanted” sign of Purdue staff member on campus

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MeToo Purdue protestors at a university board meeting in October (WBAA News/Ben Thorp)

Two Purdue University students were arrested over the weekend after police found them gluing signs across campus ahead of the school’s Michigan State football game on Saturday.

The flyers included a picture of Brandon Cutler, Purdue's director of Fraternity, Sorority, and Cooperative Life, with a “wanted” caption over his head.

Cutler allegedly told students that campus sexual assaults would not have happened if the university’s alcohol rules had been followed. Those alleged comments were cited during student protests calling for the university to address sexual assault on campus.

Purdue Police Captain Song Kang said the arrests were not about the content of the signs, but because the adhesive used was difficult to remove from campus property.

“It’s about the financial damage, right? I can’t post those on your house and expect that, well, as long as you peel it off no harm done. That was the part that was causing the damage and raising to the criminal level,” he said.

Per Purdue’s student catalog, student organizations or individuals involved in the “improper posting of signs” that damage or deface property will face disciplinary sanctions and are “required to cover the cost of removal of the materials.”

Purdue officials declined to comment, but noted that the arrests were for “vandalism/criminal mischief.”

Kang also points to a 2011 case where a Purdue student was arrested for spray painting graffiti on campus as evidence that the message was not the issue.

According to Kang, police were able to arrest two students posting flyers, but an additional two were able to run away without being caught. The two students arrested by police were Allison Vaglica and Richard Lu.

An official with the Tippecanoe County Jail said the two students arrested by police were released on a bail of $250 dollars each.

Those students either declined or did not respond to our request for comment.

Beth Kelley is a Purdue junior and an organizer of MeToo Purdue. She said the students who posted flyers on campus aren’t connected to their group.

“Frankly I was shocked by how serious the repercussions were for these kids,” she said. “They were booked and taken to county jail for vandalism. Frankly I’m just shocked they took this extreme of a step.”

Kelley underscored that the MeToo group is working closely with the Purdue University Senate to help implement reforms.

“We’re just really trying to implement policies that would be effective in preventing sexual assaults from happening,” she said.

But, Kelley said, Purdue still hasn’t done enough to address concerns students have raised about Brandon Cutler. She said the MeToo group is currently working to compile a document outlining various comments and interactions students have had with Cutler that they feel were inappropriate.

“Basically it comes down to once we get those experiences, basically a list, we can submit it to the university and then we’ll see what happens after that,” she said.