Photo given to 360 by the TCU Police

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TCU’s Indigenous People’s Symposium was supposed to educate students on Native American culture and perspective, but police are now looking into a theft that occurred during the event.

TCU Police Department detective Stephen Hall said Wednesday morning that a custom-built rod used in the event had been stolen after the symposium concluded on Oct. 3.

The rod was hand forged by a blacksmith and is about four feet high and 3/8″ in diameter.

Carl Kurtz, a core lab technician at TCU, said the purpose of the rod “is designed to hang a lantern on, as well as tie off the smoke flap lines for the tipi.”

Kurtz said the rod helps control the smoke and air flow within the tipi.

Kurtz said that he left the tipi around 10 p.m. on the night of the event so students could still explore and experience the tipi, but when he came back the next morning, the rod was missing.

“It was left in trust to the students with the expectation that they were welcome to enjoy the tipi, with the understanding it would not be torn up or disrespected,” Kurtz said, “Common values that every TCU student should have.”

Kurtz said there was no purpose for anyone to have this rod and it is only used purely in the historical context.

“I expected maybe some party or groups to hang out in the lodge overnight,” Kurtz said.  “So long as nothing was ruined, it was there to enjoy.”

Anyone with information is encouraged to call campus police at 817-257-8400. You can also reach Detective Hall at stephen.hall@tcu.edu.