Vandals cause $200,000 in damages: Center for Sex and Gender Relations and Northwoods construction site vandalized

Posted by Rebecca Stern

On the night of Oct. 29, students vandalized the Center for Sex and Gender Relations and the construction site in Northwoods. Although the acts seem unrelated, college property was defaced in both instances.

The destruction at the Center for Sex and Gender Relations was first noticed at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30, when a Peer Advocate went to work in the morning.

The bulletin board, which was designed to inform people about LGBT issues, such as suicide and how to get help, was covered in blue paint, along with a sign that said "Center for Sex and Gender Relations GOT ROBBED."

Additionally, Mariel Martin, who is the LGBQT coordinator on campus, had blue paint thrown on her door. A bulletin board about stress, which also hangs outside of her office, was untouched.

"We don't think it's a coincidence that we [the center] and Mariel Martin were targeted. It's too much. No one else in leadership was attacked," Claire Throckmorton '11 said.

When the Peer Advocate checked the cashbox, about $30 was missing. However, the people who work at the Center do not think the vandalism and robbery are related.

"We're really upset. We provide something really important at Skidmore and it's safe right inside of our office. But right outside our door we get vandalized. And most people don't even know about it," Head Peer Advocate Joe Yanks '11 said.

This act of vandalism is reminiscent of an attack that happened two years ago at the Center. There were bulletin boards up to educate students about domestic assault, on which someone wrote "BITCHES DESERVE IT." Additionally, the door decorations were stripped down and notes such as "dykes work here" were written.

"It's bad to say but, we're used to being targeted and having our posters ripped down. It's a disheartening truth," Throckmorton said.

On the same night another act of vandalism occurred at the Northwoods construction site. The construction site, which has only been in operation for a couple of weeks, suffered severe damage.

Front windshields of two John Deer tractors were smashed in, a padlock was pried off, an ignition key was stolen, a tool box was stolen, a port-a-potty was tipped over and parking signs were thrown onto the ground. A tire iron was found lying near by.

"Things like this are difficult to prevent. We [Campus Safety] do the best we can of regulating the site and checking it out. We are going to check it even more frequently now, but there is only so much we can do," Director of Campus Safety Dennis Conway said.

Skidmore is still waiting to evaluate insurance claims, though the damage is predicted to be close to $200,000.

The Saratoga Springs Police Department is doing a thorough investigation of both acts of vandalism and is looking for any leads.

Call 518–580–TIPS to report information on these incidents.

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