An email spreads word that ARCC has a vandalism problem.
By Robert Revering
An engraved Nazi Symbol, the written word “bitch” and posters being taken down, have all played an instrument in a sad song of hate at ARCC. The Nazi symbol on the bathroom wall is only a symbol of the hate that exists on campus. This pattern of vandalism on campus prompted the President Kent Hanson and the Dean of Student Affairs, Lisa Harris, to send out an email on March 6, 2015, regarding acts of vandalism relating to race, religion, and political view point.
“These actions are not reflective of the views of the community,” said Ed Wilberg, the Interim Director of Public Safety.
“Vandalism is the equivalent to damaged property…On campus acts of vandalism typically go in streaks depending on what’s going on and…like most crimes around this campus they’re really small,” Wilberd said.
Thomas Hanson, ARCC sociology professor, has experienced the impact of offensive acts of vandalism. During Black History Month, Professor Hanson put up a poster of black historical figures on the Sociology bulletin board with clues to who those figures are in a big folder. The clues were stolen.
“Images related to sex and gender on the sociology board were also vandalized by people drawing inappropriate pictures on the images,” said Hanson.
Other acts of vandalism include stealing posters that students and faculty have the permission to put up.
“I think it’s good to recognize to the entire college community that this information was brought forth to us and that we took it very seriously; that it’s an important thing when we hear events happen on campus and because it’s hurtful to the people who reported it to us,” said Harris.
Under the conditions of confidentiality Harris declined to answer questions regarding what she looks for when deciding how to educate students or faculty when they have committed an act of vandalism.
Students and faculty are concerned about the lack of respect that vandalism shows when it disapproves a specific group of people. In the most serious of vandalism cases, if caught vandalizing college property a person can be charged and convicted of a felony. Hanson suggests that taking actions to be proactive in efforts to prevent vandalism is one of the paths ARCC can take to find a solution for this problem.