Poster for anti-abortion speaker burned on WWU campus; police investigate as arson

Poster for anti-abortion speaker burned on WWU campus; police investigate as arson
The Old Main building at Western Washington University.

Western Washington University police are investigating a campus fire over the weekend as arson.

On Saturday night, campus police were notified of a fire on the outside of the Environmental Studies Building.

When officers arrived, they found the fire and put it out.

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Investigators said it appeared that a poster attached to the building was intentionally set on fire.

"We are handling this fire as an arson. Intentionally setting such a fire is foolish and dangerous. We are actively investigating and I hope we can find the person responsible for this crime," said Darin Rasmussen, chief of WWU university police.

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The poster that was burned was for a Thursday event on campus -- a talk with Kristan Hawkins.

This is a description of the event: "Kristan Hawkins is the president of Students for Life of America. She will be speaking on the lies feminists tell about abortion, birth control, and education and is being hosted by Western Washington University Students for Life and Western Washington University Young Americans for Freedom. There will be Q and A after the speech."

The fire damaged the building's wall and caused about $500 worth of damage.

"The Western Washington University community values and embraces freedom of speech and the importance of diverse viewpoints. Universities should be places where issues of societal importance are discussed in a civil and respectful manner," said WWU spokesman Paul Cocke.

Anyone with information about the fire or who may know who responsible is asked to call university police at 360-650-3555.