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Stanford says it will take 80 hours of labor to clean up student chalk on Main Quad

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Three days after student-athletes defaced Building 10 with sprayable chalk, the University announced that cleaning the building has “posed a significant restoration challenge.” According to Stanford, more than 80 hours of labor from maintenance workers will be needed to complete restoration efforts, and workers have already completed half of those hours. 

“The burden of their decision to spray chalk the buildings is falling on workers,” it wrote in an update on Thursday.

The defacing came after a rally organized by 36 Sports Strong, a group of alumni aiming to reinstate 11 varsity sports that will be discontinued after the academic year. While some students returned to Main Quad to clean up the chalk, the University wrote in a statement that the messages “did not simply disappear when washed; the interaction of chalk and historic sandstone has posed a significant restoration challenge.”

“It remains to be determined whether some of the damage will be permanent,” the statement added. 

The University did not specify whether the defacing would affect the University’s decision to reinstate 11 discontinued varsity supports.

(Photo: DANIEL WU/The Stanford Daily)

The University cited a chalking of Jane Stanford Way to raise awareness about racial justice as an example of a protest that didn’t need workers’ labor to clean up, and added that “chalking buildings crosses a line of reasonableness and respect.”

In the statement, the University wrote that the Office of Community Standards is currently evaluating the incident, and whether the students are subject to disciplinary action. Stanford will not provide updates on the outcomes of the consideration due to confidentiality rules.

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Michael Espinosa '22 is majoring in international relations. He's the head of The Daily's social media team, and editor for the University beat and also occasionally writes for sports, arts, and The Grind. He's the biggest Taylor Swift fan at Stanford and the proudest New Yorker you will ever meet. Contact him at mespinosa 'at' stanforddaily.com.