‘MTSU isn’t racist’: Vandal spray paints Forrest Hall

(Courtesy: Middle Tennessee State University Police Department)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – As many await a decision over if Forrest Hall on Middle Tennessee State University’s campus will be renamed, it appears a vandal has taken matters into their own hands.

Forrest Hall has been in the spotlight over the last year or so due to its name as it is named after Nathan Bedford Forrest, one of the founding members of the KKK.

A task force recommended the name be changed last year, and MTSU’s president Dr. Sidney McPhee subsequently approved it. The decision is now in the hands of the Tennessee Historical Commission.

But according to a photo and report by MTSU police, someone chose to make a statement regarding the controversial name last week.

Officers were called to the on-campus building Friday morning, the same day as graduation, around 7:40 a.m. where they found the words “Forrest Hall” above the main entrance had been covered with black spray paint.

The words “MTSU isn’t racist” were also spray painted to the right side of the doorway. The phrase has since been covered by school officials.

MTSU officials covered the pharse “MTSU isn’t racist” after the vandalism was discovered on Friday, May 5 (Photo: WKRN)

The police report says responding officers spoke with a member of the maintenance crew who said she didn’t notice the paint the day before.

Police told News 2 the suspect had to use a ladder in order to commit the crime, which reportedly caused over $1,000 in damages.

“Keep in mind, we’re a public university, so this is public property, so any sort of vandalism like this is taking away public resources. Obviously, Forrest Hall will have to be cleaned up and there’s been a work order placed to fix the building,” said Jimmy Hart, MTSU’s director of media relations.

Hart also told News 2 there are numerous surveillance cameras around campus; school officials are hoping it might lead to a suspect.