FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – The graffiti found across FMU's campus this morning was determined to be a fraternity prank, according to campus officials.
Francis Marion University called the FBI and the State Law Enforcement Division to assist in an investigation after "1:12" was found spray-painted in over 20 locations around campus. SLED officials believed this to be a case of simple vandalism, according to a statement on Facebook.
It was determined that the vandalism was perpetrated by a small group of pledges to the Alpha Mu fraternity, according to an update from FMU on Facebook. The numbers 1 and 12 were meant to symbolize the first and twelfth numbers of the Green alphabet, Alpha and Mu.
State and university action is pending against the students responsible, according to FMU officials.
"It's a serious offense because of all the concern that it caused amongst our university family and that's very serious," said Tucker Mitchell, an FMU spokesperson. "The worries that parents had and students had."
The red inscriptions were found on three buildings, a statue and a sidewalk, and is believed to have been painted sometime overnight or early Monday morning, according to Mitchell.
"It was stupid because we lost a lot of class time and it freaked everyone out for no reason," said Gabriella Truncellito, and FMU student, who also included her classes were emptier than usual Monday.
The FBI has been called to assist campus police with the investigation. Mitchell said they looked through bible scriptures to divine the meaning of "1:12," but nothing seemed to stand out.
The school began clean-up of the graffiti Monday afternoon.
In response to one person's concerns voiced on social media, FMU tweeted: "We're looking into it and are just as concerned as everyone else. We'll keep everyone updated as we get more info."
At about 12:40 p.m. Monday, FMU posted the following statement to their Facebook page:
During the predawn hours this morning, an individual or group of individuals spray painted the exterior Of the FMU student center and the library with the numerals "1:12." The octagon in the housing area, a few sidewalks and the south side of the Marion statue were also involved. The SC State Law Enforcement Division is assisting us in determining the identity and intent of those involved. They believe this to be a simple case of vandalism.
Medford Painting Company will be working with our own staff in removing the markings. They anticipate no residual damage.