Recent dorm vandalism costs more than $8k to repair

By Michael McFall, Staff Writer

Unknown vandals are destroying, damaging or stealing building property in the Residence Halls, and they are getting away with it.

During the past month, all 10 Chapel Glen, Gateway Heights and Sage Point buildings have been vandalized. At least 78 exit signs have been broken and at least 54 fire extinguishers or boxes have been destroyed or stolen. Culprits have also punched a hole in Sage Point 810’s wall, urinated in several rooms, smeared food on walls and windows, needlessly discharged fire extinguishers into lounge areas and stolen window screens.

“It’s probably the same people,” said Flavio Lima, U Housing and Residential Education’s executive secretary for facilities.

The damage has cost HRE at least $8,228 in repairs, but it isn’t picking up the bill. To live in the Residence Halls, students sign a contract that requires them to share the costs for their building’s damages. As a result of the month-long string of vandalisms, residents have had to pay from $2 to more than $13 to clean up someone else’s mess.

The residents of each building were given an ultimatum after every incident of vandalism: Come forward, and no one has to pay for the repairs. However, at least eight episodes have come and gone, and residents responded with silence. A survey of dozens of building residents came up with only one answer: No one knows anything about it.

Residents said they are fed up with the vandalism, but insist they haven’t seen or heard anything related to it.

Leah Willis, a Residence Halls adviser, said the culprits are likely residents. If they’re not, it must be non-residents who are being let in, she said. Residents will sometimes “tailgate,” or allow someone to follow them into their building after they have unlocked the front door with their student I.D. Willis said students have to stop tailgating, even if it seems rude.

The Residence Halls are students’ homes and they have to own up to their well being, Lima said.

The U Police Department is not investigating the vandalisms since no one has reported them.

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