Kappa vandalism taken too lightly

By By Jeffrey Jenkins

By Jeffrey Jenkins

During last week in September, large painted messages that read “Ask Her” were seen all over campus. Students and professors were curious as to what significance the statement held. One student even proposed to his girlfriend as a result of the perplexing message, raising the theory that the messages could be nothing more than an eccentric hint. The water based paint and sidewalk chalk messages reappeared even after the U Paint Shop cleaned them up.

The U Paint Shop had said the paint was used to write the messages looked similar to paint used on fraternity windows on Greek Row, raising the suspicion that the messages could be some kind of a greek escapade. Griffin Jones, president of Kappa Sigma, said he did not know anything about the messages. A few days later, on Oct. 7, Jones admitted he and 20 other individuals took part in writing the messages all over campus as part of a recruiting campaign.

According to the U Paint Shop, the total cost to clean the campus was $1,800. The Kappa Sigma fraternity was only fined $500, due partially to the fact they claimed they were unaware their actions were a violation.

Gary Forrest, The U’s Paint Shop supervisor, said, “The fine was only $500 because we knew it wasn’t malicious, but in the future, if a similar act happens, I won’t hesitate to call and ask for their help to clean up if they are able.”

The Kappa Sigma fiasco did not cause any permanent damage to the U campus.They offered an appropriate apology and their services to help clean up the chalk and paint. The fraternity deserves some credit for this act of maturity. However, a $500 fine seems excessively light under the circumstances. After the first round of painting took place, it was evident by the news reports that students and campus officials viewed the action as vandalism. After it happened again, Kappa Sigma was questioned and its president lied by saying that he did not know anything about the messages. It was not until Oct. 7 that Kappa Sigma admitted responsibility and said they didn’t want to ruin the surprise beforehand.

The fine does not even cover half of the total cost of cleanup. This light penalty sends the message to future participants in malicious and benign acts of vandalism that, if questioned, they can lie about their involvement and possibly pay a fraction of the total cost of repair.

[email protected]

Jeffrey Jenkins