Point-Counterpoint

Christopher Snapp

One thing I really missed this May 1 was seeing the May Day chalkings and planted sprigs of Dum-Dums that usually mysteriously appear all over the campus by that morning. While the event was no doubt cancelled due to rain, the spirit behind it is good: it is a creative and positive means of public expression that alters the campus in a fascinating way. Another example of this would be the many student art projects that have shown up on Main Hall Green and inside campus buildings over the years.
This type of expression is in direct contrast to the graffiti, fires and other forms of vandalism that have increased exponentially over the course of this academic year.
Vandalism alters the campus as well, but in a way that is not only negative to outside observers, but that also makes it an unpleasant place to live and work.
There is no excuse for it. As Chair of the Student Welfare Committee, I am attempting to arrange forums within the residence halls where students can discuss the situation and work with each other to find a solution to this ongoing problem.
Currently, a measure that has been put forward is to treat each act of vandalism like the Sage elevator incident: if the perpetrators are not found, residents of the affected hall will pay jointly for the damages. I had to pay for a portion of the elevator damages myself, and I’m not going to be happy if I have to pay for something else-especially if I’m not sure the perpetrator is paying anything.
That said, the idea behind this decision is to stop the incidents before they start; if someone sees or hears the destruction occurring, the possibility of being charged money gives them an added incentive to do something about it.
It’s sad that an added incentive is deemed necessary in the first place; after all, the residence halls are our homes for the better part of a year, and it says something about the hall community if people are consistently turning blind eyes and deaf ears. Even so, I think many of us have a tendency, when we hear a mass of voices on a Saturday night, accompanied by the sounds of overturned recycling bins or what have you, to sigh, shut the door, and wait for the craziness to pass.
Let me be clear; I’m not asking anyone to physically confront the drunk and disorderly mid-rampage-that’s what phones are for, and the RLAs and campus security are both paid to deal with this type of thing if you don’t want to.
These are just a few things to think about before these open forums commence. I know that Hiett has already done something similar, and I encourage other residence halls to do the same, sooner rather than later.
And by the way, if you are one of these people who are setting fire to things and urinating and defecating in places that in no way resemble a bathroom, you ought to think about checking your own behavior-before someone else checks it for you.

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