By Shea Berthelot | Intern, Video by George Schroeder | Broadcast Reporter
Baylor students attending the third day of the FM72 conference, an annual prayer event on campus, walked out of the event to the sight of offensive graffiti on some monuments and markers on Tuesday night near McLane Stadium.
The graffiti marks include several satanic symbols and remarks about Baylor’s Title IX violations several years ago and the campus’s affiliation with Christianity. The police department was unable to be reached for comment due to the late hour of the graffiti being noticed.
San Antonio freshman Gabe Solano was one of the students who saw the marks as he left the conference.
“There was some graffiti on that sign, and it had some very nasty and hateful comments,” Solano said.
He said the comments made him feel confused at first.
“[I’m] not sure why anyone would feel the need to write something thing like that, especially on a night where everyone was immersed in this wonderful experience,” he said. “I just really felt like you know what whoever wrote that down, I just pray for them and I just hope that whatever hatred or stress they are feeling in their own soul that it would just go away.”
Similar sentiments were shared by Baylor sophomore, Vertical host and FM72 volunteer Nathan Valdez.
He said his friend pointed out the graffiti to him as they were driving by and that it made him “sad and disheartened.”
“I’ve seen a sense of urgency in everyone [at FM72]. Everybody really wants to invite their friends and seeing it all over Instagram, and it is something that is awesome to see all of us Baylor students coming together and praising God,” Valdez said. “And then we see that and its just brings us back to reality that people are not on the same page as us but we are still called to love them and seek after God and bring them closer to God with our actions.”
Freshman Grace Fortier, a Vertical Ministries volunteer and FM72 greeter and prayer tent leader, was able to have a unique experience and seeing the graffiti.
“I was with a group of friends and we stayed late … at McLane and we were one of the last people to leave the stadium,” Fortier said.
She said her group of friends saw a man who appeared to be with maintenance staff shining a light on the graffiti.
“We walked over towards the sign, and one of our friends, he asked to pray over it so just us as a small group, we started praying,” Fortier said. “We thought that there was just one little saying on the sign and as we started to walk closer to campus there was a statue, and it had more graffiti on it.”
She said that the group began to pray at the other site of the graffiti and more and more people began to gather.
“It was just a really sweet moment being there and just people just started to show up and pop in the prayer,” Fortier said. “It started out with six or seven of us and there ended up being about 20 people there… and then some [students] brought cleaning supplies and I think that they went ahead and attempted at cleaning it.”