The Collegian
Saturday, May 30, 2020

Vandalism in South Court prompts administrative response

<p>Brick and debris on the floor of South Court. The dorm has experienced high levels of vandalism this year. Photo by Antonio DeMora.</p>

Brick and debris on the floor of South Court. The dorm has experienced high levels of vandalism this year. Photo by Antonio DeMora.

Damaged water fountains, wrecked bulletin boards, torn down exit signs and missing furniture have become typical in South Court throughout the past month. The vandalism began in late September, and all started with broken glass on the floor by the exits from the framed emergency procedures signs.

All South Court residents received an email Oct. 1 detailing the acts of vandalism from their Resident Assistants. The email noted that the television in the second-floor common area was missing, and urged students with any knowledge of the television or vandalism to come forward.

This initial email did little to deter the vandalism that had been occurring. Since then, on weekends between midnight and 3 a.m., the residents of South Court have been very rowdy. There are usually people running and banging on doors, breaking lights and hanging from the emergency signs on the ceiling, according to RAs and residents.

The most serious vandalistic actions took place during Homecoming weekend, Friday, Oct. 17. Around 3 a.m., after the Sammy Adams concert, an unidentified group of residents threw bricks and glasses from one of the upper floors to the basement. The smashing of glass and bricks through the staircase woke some students on the lower floors.

“I first woke up with what sounded like a riot on my hallway,” said Euan Philip, who lives in the basement. “Then I heard glass and bricks smashing.”

As a result of the continued vandalism, Richmond College Associate Dean Patrick Benner sent an additional email to South Court residents Oct. 20. Benner wrote that measures would to be taken from that moment on to deal with the situation.

“In response to these increased acts of vandalism you will see an increased presence of Residence Life staff and University Police,” Benner wrote.

South Court residents will have to pay for all damages to their hallway in compliance with housing police. Most of the damages have occurred on the first, second and third floors, and less so in the basement.

To quantify the damages, the emergency exit signs hanging from the ceiling range from $87 to $100 each, plus labor for replacing them.

These damages will be billed to students’ accounts, along with the cost of replacing phone receivers and purchasing a new television to replace the stolen one that has not yet been found. University Police are still investigating the case.

Contact reporter Antonio De Mora Vazquez at antonio.demora@richmond.edu

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