By Owen Denker | September 26, 2022
Graffiti on the corner of Dutch Quad between Van Cortlandt and Beverwyck Halls
Photo Credit: Henry Fisher
A student was arrested for allegedly vandalizing university property after writing in permanent marker the phrase “F-- 12,” an anti-police sentiment, and“MLB,” an acronym of unclear meaning, but possibly a reference to the rap artist MLB Drippyy, around Dutch Quad and the Campus Center two weeks ago.
According to University Police Department (UPD) Deputy Chief Jeremy Clapper, the suspect, who has been identified as UAlbany student Jinwu Ahn, claims he did not know what the phrase meant, and was merely parroting numerous popular rap songs entitled “F-- 12,” but originating with a Migos song of the same name. Officers believe his statements to be genuine.
In total, there were five instances of graffiti that were first reported on Sept. 10. All graffiti was cleaned up the following week. According to Senior Communications Specialist Mike Nolan, the cost of cleanup is difficult to quantify. The suspect was released and is expected to be due in court in the following weeks for the charge of making graffiti, a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.
Reactions from students to the messages were mixed. Anaiya, a UAlbany junior said, “I don’t think those sentiments should be posted on campus. It’s still a form of hate speech,” and thought a protest would be more appropriate for spreading the message.
However, the message struck a chord with some, including Chloe, a UAlbany freshman who said, “‘F-- 12,’ fuck the police, like, yeah.”
There was a strong consensus that, even if the message was a righteous one, graffiti was not the appropriate means to express it. An unidentified UAlbany freshman said, “I don’t really approve…if it’s permanent because that could damage or ruin the school building.”
When informed the artist himself did not know the meaning of the lyrics, the same student replied, “I feel like the person who did graffiti the building is, like, very stupid because if you don’t know what you’re doing, or understand what you’re doing, you shouldn’t do it.” Efforts to combat vandalism remain ongoing.