Unprecedented rise in campus vandalism

By Jewell Porter

Editor-in-Chief

Vandalism proved to be a continued concern of members of the Denison community last week as several incidents of vandalism occurred both on Friday night and during the Naked Week activities.

Last Friday night at around 1 a.m. when parties were beginning to settle down as per regulation of quiet hours, a radiator was broken in a party in Sawyer Hall, causing water to flow from the broken radiator and leak into dorm rooms below the damaged radiator.

Bill Fox, Denison’s dean of students, said that campus safety is “currently managing the collection of information about what happened.”

However, Fox said that after the radiator was broken, the building was immediately evacuated, and facilities staff, residential education staff, campus safety staff and local authorities helped to clear the building.

None of the damage done to the buildings was permanent, and some students were allowed to return to their rooms after the evacuation; however, this was not the case for some students.

Callie Towles ‘16 said that she has not been able to sleep in her room since Thursday night. She said, “After the incident at 2 am on Saturday, we were told to find another place to stay that night, as it was not safe to stay in our room, since boiling hot water was still raining from the ceiling and down the walls.

She continued, “we received an email late Saturday afternoon informing us that we were being moved to an apartment in Stone while our room was cleaned and assessed for damage.”

Towles and her roommates were told that they will be allowed by the University to move back into their rooms (with the help of physical plant) either on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week.

But this is not all the damage that was done to residence halls in the past week. During the annual Naked Week, which is held to remind students to love their bodies, students also vandalized some of the residence halls.

Kristen Locey ‘15, this year’s Naked Week queen, said that last Friday night’s War Paint Night did not go as planned. She said that some exit signs and water fountains were pulled off the walls during the run, though she was not aware of this until after the run had already ended.

In addition, some damage was done in the basement of Shepardson Hall where students were preparing to depart for the concluding ceremony. She said,  “I set up an area with tarps so that the paint wouldn’t get on anything and people completely disregarded me asking them to keep the paint on the tarps. I had to buy carpet cleaner (out of my own pocket) to try to clean up all of the paint that was everywhere.

But even though much damage was done to the residence halls, both Fox and Locey were grateful for members of the Denison community who helped repair the damage.

In regard to the Naked Week damage, Locey said, “About ten people stayed after to help me clean up after the run and they are fantastic. We were there cleaning for at least an hour after the run and then cleaning the carpet took even longer, and I did that by myself.”

Similarly, Fox said, “It was a messy and difficult time and as we learned more on site through the weekend, many people tried their best to work on creative solutions to help our community.  I’m grateful to many staff for their time and thankful for the patience and grace and communication exhibited by students who were most impacted.”