Less than one year after Miami University drew national attention for a destroyed, anti-abortion display, more pro-life symbols were vandalized.
In April a video was shared on social media showing a student at Miami University’s Hamilton campus destroying dozens of crucifixes symbolizing aborted babies.
Now Miami officials said last month a similar anti-abortion display was vandalized on the university’s main Oxford campus in its central “Hub” area.
Less than 24 hours after the destruction was reported on Nov. 13, Miami officials condemned the act.
“Last night, the Students for Life display of crosses on the Hub was vandalized,” Kimberly Moore, associate vice president and dean of students, wrote in a message to Miami students and staff.
“Miami University Police are investigating. Such destructive behavior is not acceptable in our community and we must all join together to condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” said Moore.
“All Miami University students and student organizations have the right to free speech. As a result, the University does not approve or disapprove of any student organization’s display based on its content,” she said.
“Our values call us to protect the rights of our students and student organizations. They insist we hold and express disparate beliefs and encourage the discussion and learning that comes from sharing our differences of experience, opinion, or viewpoint,” said Moore.
Miami University Police said Monday they continue to investigate the incident but have made no arrest in connection with the vandalism.
Miami, which is Butler County’s largest university and employer, settled a federal lawsuit in February stemming from a 2017 incident involving another anti-abortion display.
Moore said with a student body of over 17,000 undergraduates and 500-plus registered student organizations, “every student at Miami is likely to hear or see something with which they do not agree.”
“We do not expect students to agree with every idea espoused by a student organization but we compel all students to take the opportunity to learn and gain from the experience. It is not unusual for student organization displays to generate conversations that in fact deepens our understanding of, and commitment to, those qualities we most value,” she said.