Vandalism on the Rise Throughout Campus
There has been a noted increase in damage being done to campus property according to Skidmore College administrators. From club and event posters being torn down to dorm facilities being destroyed, these incidents are a poor reflection on the Skidmore community.
College, of course, provides a natural environment for relatively wild behavior. For many freshman, in particular, there is the initial thrill of being set loose from parents. Peer pressure and the need to belong to a particular social group also might foster this sort of behavior, which, combined with alcohol in many cases, can further explain inappropriate actions.
Regardless, there is a notable lack of responsibility with respect to these incidents. And though damage to the dorms--which often takes the form of putting holes in the walls and abusing furniture--is nothing to take lightly. It is particularly concerning when club and event posters are shamelessly torn down in what can likely only be explained as an expression that one disagrees with whatever message is being advertised.
In a recent interview with the Editorial Board, President Glotzbach expressed the importance of the Skidmore community upholding the Honor Code’s integrity both inside and outside of the classroom. He noted specifically how these incidents not only are in clear violation of the regulations set forth by the College, but they run counter to the shared responsibility of all community members to uphold the campus’ integrity by being considerate to the rights of others, as mentioned in the Honor Code. This commitment is necessary for all of us to coexist amicably, particularly given how certain club groups have been the targets--be it intentional or unintentional--of often unacceptable actions, as well as how the maintenance of dorm facilities are for the benefit of all.
The Student Government Association (SGA) echoes similar sentiments of frustration. According to SGA President Tayler Salvatore, SGA is “aware that vandalism is a large problem, one that has been escalating over the past several years, and we believe that in addressing the issue of vandalism we need to do more than merely communicate our disapproval.” Although SGA is working with the administration for a remedy strategy, specific actions remain unclear.
Aside from acknowledging these commitments, other adjustments would be welcome to ensure that vandalism incidents significantly decline. It is reasonable to assume that at least a portion of these incidents occur with the knowledge of either a friend or bystander. However, given how difficult it may be to report a friend directly, an anonymous forum for reporting incidents could be beneficial because it would offer confidentiality for reporters and, more importantly, ensure that a perpetrator who might otherwise avoid any consequences for a certain action is held responsible. Greater transparency with regard to these incidents and communication as to any financial costs incurred would also be likely to help deter vandalism moving forward.