Vandalism Swarms Dowden

Posted on October 26, 2010 by


By Ashley Arseneau

Associate Editor

Freshman dorm building, Dowden Hall, was the subject of controversy at the end of September and the beginning of this month.  Vandalism reached such a high that the building’s residents were stripped of guest privileges for 12 days.

According to Erin Trevlakis, Dowden Hall Residence Director, exit signs were taken off walls and ceilings in the hallways.  Soap and towel dispensers were ripped from the walls in several bathrooms.  On the third floor hallway, the siding on part of the wall had been peeled off and thrown out a window.

During the weekend of September 25, some residents left trash bags in the hallway, said Trevlakis.  She said the whole building looked ransacked when she came in the following Monday.  The previous weekend only led to damage on the first floor.

On Wednesday, September 29, there was an optional building meeting held to explain why guest privileges had been taken away and to remind students to report any wrongdoing.  Since this meeting, residents have started to report incidents, according to Trevlakis.

On October 20, a few weeks after the restoration of guest privileges, a fire extinguisher was ripped from its compartment and sprayed on multiple floors of the building.  The fire alarms went off, causing a building wide evacuation, said Dowden resident Matt Cristino.

Dowden residents were forced to stay in the Student Center until 6 a.m. the following morning before they could reenter the building.  According to Cristino, residents are now not allowed to be in common areas or hallways after 9 p.m. at night unless they are walking to their rooms or bathrooms.

“I don’t think is going to last too long,” Cristino said.  “I think they want someone to snitch.”

Trevlakis does not think the incidents are due to more residents in the building. She thinks some of the residents have “less respect for authority, the building, and other people in the building.”  Since they are still young and have just began their college experience, the freshmen tried to test their limits and see just how far they could go, said Trevlakis.

If no one in particular is found guilty when vandalism occurs on a floor in Dowden, the entire floor of students is charged for the damage conducted.  If it occurs in a bathroom, the residents with a key to that bathroom are billed.

There have been no major issues since the fire extinguisher incident on October 20.  Trevlakis also reported that the building passed their health and safety check with no violations.




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