Staff Editorial

As Lawrentians may or may not have heard, prior to the arrival of the majority of students back to campus for this school year, an extreme act of vandalism occurred in Hiett Hall, causing a great deal — and an expensive amount — of damage.
While this is certainly not the first act of vandalism to occur on this campus, it seemed to be very apparent in this particular situation that residents of Hiett were not to blame. In fact, it seems as though not even LU students were at fault. It was requested by the summer and early arrival residents of Hiett that all students on campus at the time be charged for the damages, rather than abiding by the current LUCC policy of charge only Hiett residents. It was also suggested that this become the new norm — all students on campus should be charged for any vandalism that occurs, not just the residents of the vandalized hall.
Either payment plan is a rather unfortunate way to deal with the vandalism that inevitably occurs every year, seeing as in many instances it is not the residents of the hall that cause the damage. More often it is students from other buildings, or those off-campus friends that students let in that damage or destroy University property.
The problem with vandalism lies with the lack of responsibility. How can the prospect of forcing every student on campus, or every student in one building, to pay for the damage of one errant loser be fair? But whose responsibility should it be? It was decided, at least for this instance, not to charge anyone, but is that the only option?
It is said over and over that vandalism as serious as this last occurrence was, could not have been committed by Lawrentians. If this is true, maybe there should be tighter restrictions on outside visitors, especially into residence halls. If you’re letting people you don’t know into your building, take a moment to realize that you might be asked to take responsibility for someone who acts up — you’re the one who pays to live in the building, they just come for the fun and leave before having to take the blame. It’s fine to have people over for a party, but remember that if you let them in, they are your guests (even if you don’t know or like them) and Hiett (or whatever hall you live in) is your home. Don’t let them roam around to find things to burn or break, escort them out. Call security to make sure they don’t get back in, or to help you ask them to leave, if you feel you need more authority. You can’t use the excuse that you don’t know them or that they left your room and thus you were free from caring about what they did — if you can’t handle the unfairness of paying or having to take responsibility, then don’t let people in.

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