Mardi Gras Revelers Target Loyola University Sculpture For YOLO-Inspired Vandalism

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 4 2014 4:15 PM

Mardi Gras' YOLO-Inspired Vandalism

Members of Rex parade down St. Charles Avenue despite the rain Mardi Gras Day on March 4, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

You might only live once, but the same can't be said for the sign out front of Loyola University in Uptown New Orleans.

Local affiliate WDSU reports that school officials woke up this morning to find the first four letters of a concrete sculpture that spells Loyola on the campus' front lawn had gone missing. The school told the station that it had been a "victim of Mardi Gras"—although I suppose you could also say it was a victim of Drake. (For anyone who hasn't put it together by now, it wouldn't take a lot of effort to reorganize the stolen letters to spell YOLO.)


If your first thought when you saw the photo above was: How the heck hasn't that happened before? The answer is: It has. Apparently a lot. "It happens during the normal times even when it's not a holiday," Meredith Hartley, the school's director of public affairs, told the Times-Picayune. A quick search of the New Orleans newpaper's archives suggests that is indeed the case. Not only has the sign suffered similar YOLO-themed damage before, Hartley told the paper last year that the sign is damaged so often—sometimes on purpose, sometimes on accident by people posing for pictures—that the university actually keeps replacement letters on hand just in case.

School officials say the letters will be back up tomorrow once the school's facilities operations team returns to work. (It probably goes without saying that by waiting until Wednesday the school ensures that most of the Mardi Gras crowd will either have headed home or will be too hungover to do much repeat vandalizing.)

One quick note about the embedded photo up top: There's a bit of forced perspective at work. If you head on over to the Times-Picayune you'll find a photo gallery that has a shot that includes a person in the frame to give you an idea of the scale we're talking about here.

***Follow @JoshVoorhees and the rest of the @slatest team on Twitter.***

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 



Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Altered State

The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender

What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?

Surprise! The Women Hired to Fix the NFL Think the NFL Is Just Great.

You Shouldn’t Spank Anyone but Your Consensual Sex Partner

Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Altered State
Sept. 17 2014 11:51 PM The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
Dear Prudence
Sept. 18 2014 6:00 AM All Shook Up My 11-year-old has been exploring herself with my “back massager.” Should I stop her?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 8:25 PM A New Song and Music Video From Angel Olsen, Indie’s Next Big Thing
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 9:00 PM Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 17 2014 11:48 PM Spanking Is Great for Sex Which is why it’s grotesque for parenting.
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?