November 3, 2020 message

Election Day message on damage to PSU's campus

November 3, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

I’m disappointed and disheartened that we woke up this morning to news about individuals vandalizing the Portland State campus last night on the eve of a critical election for our country. 

Over approximately 20 minutes, individuals damaged five buildings on campus — inflicting further damage to the Campus Public Safety office as well as vandalizing Cramer Hall, Smith Memorial Student Union, the Science Research and Training Center and the Starbucks on the Park Blocks. Vandals broke windows and spray-painted graffiti. The Multnomah County Sheriff's office has confirmed that two people were arrested as a result of the incident. 

We will clean up from last night’s incident and move forward. While damage to property can be repaired, my larger concern is the damage done to our community. This kind of vandalism impedes our important work in educating students, conducting research and supporting student life. We deplore the impact of these actions on our community. 

Our commitment to academic freedom and freedom of expression is a hallmark of campus life. PSU will always defend free speech and the right to peaceful protest, but our students deserve a learning environment free of violence and vandalism. Close to 900 students live on our campus and hundreds more students, faculty and staff come to campus daily. We are committed to their safety and the health and well-being of our entire campus. 

I urge everyone at PSU to exercise their right to vote — ballots can be returned in Oregon until 8 p.m. this evening — and to join me in looking ahead to a better future where all voices are heard and racial equity and justice prevails. 


Stephen Percy 

PSU President