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Vandalism Charges in Memorial – The Break Down

April 28, 2010 at 4:00 pm
By Andy Rooks

Since Memorial Hall first stood in fall of 2009 there have been numerous accounts of signs stolen, fire extinguishers discharged on non-fire occasions, and burnt cookies (unrelated). Residents of Memorial received an email on April 27, 2010 indicating that all the occupants would split the charges equally for vandalism that occurred during winter and spring terms. Damages totaled more than $900, causing some residents to complain about fines that they deemed to be unfair.

The office of residential life did, however, offer an ultimatum: if someone admitted to these crimes, or if another person indicated the perpetrator, they alone would have to pay. “I would like to give you all the opportunity to accept responsibility for these damages or to report any individuals you know have been involved in causing these damages so I can hold those individuals accountable,” hall director Danica Lance stated in her email, “[but] if no one accepts the responsibility of these damages or we are not able to identify the responsible individuals, I will have to split the common area charges between every Memorial resident.”

While this does create an incentive structure for residents to accuse one another, it is still unlikely that anyone will confess to such vandalism. What is more puzzling, in the views of this author, is that the office of Res Life did not indicate specific damages. How could a resident confess to a crime if he/she does not know what to confess to? After a few emails, Danica gave me a list of all the fines for winter and spring terms. Here is how the fines are divided up:


Three signs were stolen or broken, two fire extinguishers were discharged, and six ceiling tiles in the halls and elevator were broken. The most expensive cost, however, was a broken exit sign and surrounding ceiling tiles, totaling $300.18. Another exit sign cost $196.18.

The lesson here: if you’re going to do damage to a public space, make sure that it’s not in your own building. Eventually, someone is going to have to pay for it.

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  • May 24 2010 at 8:02 pm
    Who says it's a Memorial resident doing the damage? Anyone has access to the signs, right?

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