Students responsible for graffiti will return to SOU

Two students who wrote anti-gay graffiti in Southern Oregon University dorms will be allowed to return to school but must complete community service and live off campus, the university's hearings board ruled.

Blake Adkins, 19, and Kevin Novotny, 20, will be required to complete community service projects with SOU's Queer Resource, Women's Resource and Multicultural centers, Adkins said Wednesday.

"I appreciate the fact that they have seen the fact that Kevin and I were very sorry and that we're not going to do it again, and I'm thankful that they're letting us come back to the school," he said.

Adkins said they must also perform 25 additional hours of community service and attend a gay-rights meeting in October at the university.

If they don't complete the hearings board's requirements, they could be suspended for up to a year, he said.

They plan to return to SOU in the fall and complete the requirements, Adkins said.

"I definitely think it's a very proper punishment and it will make my life better working in other groups and doing my three club projects," he said. "I'm going to complete everything and get it done and I feel that it's definitely important to do that."

He said Novotny also plans to complete the requirements. Novotny could not immediately be reached for comment.

Adkins said he and Novotny will be allowed to return to the university in the fall but will not be allowed to live on campus as they did last academic year.

In a Daily Tidings interview last month, the students admitted to the crime and apologized for it. They said they weren't homophobic and hadn't intended to insult the residents of SOU's gender-neutral floor, where some of the graffiti was found.

The graffiti, discovered early in the morning on April 8, disturbed residents of the dorms and prompted them to hold campus meetings and speak out about gay rights.

Adkins and Novotny were arrested on April 30 and charged with second-degree criminal mischief. An intimidation charge against Adkins was dropped. They pleaded guilty on May 19 to the violation and received a $400 fine, they said. They could have received up to a $720 fine, Adkins said.

Contact staff writer Hannah Guzik at 541-482-3456 ext. 226 or

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