After members of the UF chapter of Delta Tau Delta fraternity expressed support for President-elect Donald Trump, the fraternity’s house was vandalized last weekend.
Between Saturday night and Sunday morning, three of the house’s columns were spray-painted with hearts above a black swastika, “Trump” and the word “rape.” A 12-pane kitchen window was also broken, said Gainesville Police spokeswoman Lt. Tscharna Senn, but no one was hurt.
On Saturday, as people marched down West University Avenue protesting Trump, some members of the fraternity waved a Trump flag outside the house, located at 1926 W. University Ave., and shouted back at protesters.
William Hunter Hedman, the president of the chapter, said members were exercising their right to free speech.
“It’s just unfair that people generalize certain things about us,” the 21-year-old UF economics junior said. “We did nothing wrong. We provoked nothing.”
GPD will investigate the incident, Senn said. Similar incidents such as these are often investigated as hate crimes.
Kevin Kimbrough, a member of Delta Tau Delta, said the vandalism does not reflect the fraternity’s values or the values of Saturday’s protesters.
“We don’t want to generalize them as people who vandalize either,” the 22-year-old UF computer science senior said.
On Sunday night, UF President Kent Fuchs tweeted that he was saddened by the incident.
“I denounce all statements and symbols that hurt or disparage,” he said.
The UF chapter house of Delta Tau Delta was vandalized between Saturday night and Sunday morning. One column had a drawing of a heart over the swastika, another had a drawing of a heart over the word “Trump” and the last had a drawing of a heart over the word “rape.”