Student Guild Campaign Posters Defaced with Homophobic Graffitti

Sam Cavallaro and Clare Francis

Today at Curtin University, two members of the student political group Left Action found that their Student Guild election posters had been defaced.

The students in question were Clare Francis, Curtin University’s current Humanities Faculty Representative and current Guild President Sam Cavallaro. Francis is running for the position of Education Vice President for 2015 and Cavallaro is running for the position of General Secretary of the student guild.

Two of their campaign posters had been covered in graffiti, some of which homophobic in nature. The poster depicting Clare Francis had the slogan ‘better dead than red’ written over it, and Sam Cavallaro’s poster had been made to read ‘Sammy: objectively the best girl’. There was also a penis drawn over his mouth.

Cavallaro, who is a campaigner in the Equal Love group advocating for LGBT rights and same sex marriage, told OUTinPerth that this type of incident was not unfamiliar to him.

“Walking up to campus I saw this morning I saw the posters that we put up this morning had been torn down and ones that were left had graffitti on them.

“It isn’t actually the first time, unfortunately. In previous years we’ve had our posters torn down but also we’ve had homophobic graffiti similar to this one on our material before. We had our names changed from Left Action to ‘Left Fagtion’, at one point.

“There’s no way to really respond except for trying harder to make sure that the guild’s an inclusive place for students in the future and to make sure that this doesn’t change or effect the results of the election, so we just need to try harder I think, and it’s giving us more determination to win the elections.

Cavallaro said the incident has crystallized his determination to make the campus a space free of discrimination and victimization.

“I know that the guild this year has had a strong stance against homophobia amongst other forms of discrimination and we’ve been trying to create an atmosphere that’s inclusive on campus.

“It makes it so much more clear to me that this sort of atmosphere is necessary and that we need to continue to have a fight against discrimination. ”

Sophie Joske

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