Recently, Resident Hall Director Eric Edwards sent out a mass email addressing the issue of vandalism in Ranger Hall. During spring break, residents living on the north side of Ranger Hall’s first floor experienced a breaking and entering that was soon followed by a series of unrelated acts of vandalism to the building.
Coming through an unlocked first floor window, the perpetrators were able to get inside of the victim’s room. When the victims arrived back to campus, they contacted their Residents’ Hall Advisors and Edwards who encouraged them to notify the police. One of the victims filled out a police report, stating that the perpetrators stole alcohol from his room. From there, Edwards and the Residents’ Life staff worked with the students on few leads to discover the perpetrators.
Since theft and breaking and entering violates policy, the incident currently being dealt with by the police and Edward’s supervisors. Theft and breaking and entering also violates the student’s housing contract, and therefore, the perpetrators may lose their housing as a consequence. Edwards and the housing staff feel as though this should be a lesson not only in honesty, but in responsibility to all students.
“Lock your windows and lock your doors, even if you are only going to be gone for a few hours,” said Edwards. “You never know.”
According to staff, Ranger Hall has not had serious issues with theft and vandalism in the past. In fact, spring break marked the first real issue that the building has had all year.
Following spring break, acts of vandalism continued. Starting on the fourth floor and tracing down to the atrium level, someone used a permanent marker to draw a line down the stair case. In addition to the staircase, bathrooms were targeted; students wrote offensive statements on the bathroom walls. Custodial staff members were able to catch the bathroom perpetrators; however, other acts of vandalism have remained unsolved.
Another act of vandalism that Ranger Hall has dealt with in the past involves the atrium glass, or “sneeze guard.” Students who throw various items from the above floors onto the glass are inconveniencing the custodial workers, as cleaning the atrium glass is not one of their daily tasks.
Having to repaint and refurbish the building and property inconveniences the workers and detracts them from fulfilling their normal duties. In addition to the custodial workers, the residents also face consequences. When lounges and furniture items are targeted, the residents must deal with the loss of that item not to mention the cost to replace or fix the item.
“When vandalism happens, it affects the greater community,” said Edwards.
In order to end theft and vandalism, students must report all incidents. If you feel as though you have been a victim of vandalism or theft, the Parkside Residence Life and Police Department encourage you to report it. Reports can be made to any Residence Life employee or police officer. Ultimately, students must take responsibility for their belongings and for their actions.
“Be responsible for your guests and for yourselves. This is our home. Respect our home!” said Edwards.