Campus-wide increase in vandalism

Nick Krause, Contributing Writer

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The statue of Aslan in Haggerty Art Village is often a sight of vandalism and litter. Photo by Anthony Garnier.

A recent string of vandalism has struck the University of Dallas.

Bennie Harden, facilities manager, and Jim McGovern, structural and grounds manager, said the vandalism has occurred all throughout campus from dormitories to street signs.

“There’s been a rash of vandalism throughout the campus, especially in Haggar, West Hall, and even in the new SB Hall with graffiti in the classrooms,” Harden said in an email. “[There’ve] also been break-ins at the former COB Admin Building over the last few weeks.”

Unfortunately, he said, it seems that the recent rash of vandalism has not been the result of isolated incidents, since occurrences across campus are becoming more and more frequent.

The directors of facilities are working with Harden to create a solution to this problem.

“I’ve been in discussions with my directors in suggesting that we install security cameras throughout the common areas and hallways to deter some of the vandalism, but I don’t think it will stop it all,” Harden said.

Like most solutions, the cameras would be an expensive fix, possibly exceeding the cost of repairing the damage.

Since the Church of the Incarnation could not afford cameras to prevent the theft of laptops and backpacks, it is unlikely that the cameras are an affordable or equitable solution.

McGovern roughly estimated the total cost of the damage to the university from vandalism.

“In regard … to the vandalism, just the brown signs and the directional signs are $100 a piece,” McGovern said. “The West Hall elevator signs have cost me $3,500 dollars. For some reason, kids also like to steal the bathroom signs off all our walls, so we’re looking at upwards of $6,000 in very recent vandalism damage.”

With tuition costs already so high, Harden said, it is in the best interests of UD students to cease the costly and potentially dangerous behavior.

Harden also said he wishes there was a way to bill the students or parents directly, but he knows there is a possibility that the cost of tuition will have to increase to account for the damage.

The vandalism accompanies a recent increase in littering, especially in the woods around the Haggerty Art Village.

The trash presents a possibly awkward situation for student tour guides, who show prospective students this area, which should be one of the most aesthetically pleasing parts of campus.

Many empty and half-full beer cans are found each week in the Art Village, especially on Friday mornings following TGIT.

On some occasions, bottles filled with urine have been found in the woods.

Broken glassware and broken cups from the cafeteria are commonly dumped between the art buildings and the Haggar Café.

Unfortunately, there are other failures on the part of the student body to take responsible ownership of their residence.

Pilfering of trays, cups and glassware from the cafeteria has cost Aramark thousands.

Taking any utensils outside of the cafeteria is strictly prohibited, even with the intent to take them back later. Only a to-go box, available for purchase, can be taken outside of the cafeteria.

Ideas to curb the theft of Aramark materials have been discussed by Student Government (SG) officials.

During his campaign, treasurer-elect Mike Woodrum proposed railing the outside of the cafeteria to prevent students from walking out with materials.

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