Sometime about three weeks ago I overheard a conversation between students. “We’re making it our mission to abuse every window on this side of the building,” the speaker said. Sure enough, those students started to complete their mission. If you take a look at Brown Hall you can see their damage. Second-story (and some first-story) windows are covered in an array of substances from waffle batter to grape jelly. A few residents whose windows were damaged are furious. The most recent vandalism was the first week of April, and the remnants of the childish “mission” are still covering the windows of Brown.
The students who have taken it upon themselves to deface the windows may have done so for some “harmless fun,” but the truth of the matter is that it is childish. Everyone at Drew is a college student, and in turn should be expected to act like one. Being an adult away from home means that we should be responsible for cleaning up our own messes. Part of being a member of our community is doing your best to respect those around you, adhering to the campus-wide expectations and taking care of shared physical spaces.
Furthermore, the sticky vandalism will become problematic for the dorm community as the weather warms up.. For instance, the sticky syrup on the windows could attract bugs and animals. Students may also stop opening their windows because of the possibility of having them vandalized. To make matters worse, the heat from sunshine will bake the unenjoyable smell of these sticky substances onto the building. Many of the first year students in Brown also expressed that they are upset because the mess obstructs their view and serves as a constant reminder of their frustration. Students who had their windows defaced reached out to the Hall Director who responded by filing a work order with the Facilities Department. So why is the second floor of Brown still decorated tastelessly with condiments?
This week, Campus Facilities began work on cleaning , especially since both the window screens and the glass panes, however it took weeks to get startedAlthough some students may be pointing fingers at the Facilities Department for their lack of action until this point, it is important that students don’t turn their anger towards departments that are vital to campus life. Part of the delay may have been due to the location of the defacement, which needs a ladder to be tackled, but it is possible the unappealing nature of cleaning weeks-old sticky condiments from a window also kept work from starting. And who could blame that?
Even as things begin to revert back to normal, the situation remains a source of tension for Brown Hall residents for obvious reasons. I’m not saying that the vandals who defaced these windows should be the ones up on the ladders cleaning the syrup, peanut butter and melted ice cream, but I do condemn their actions. This extremely childish behavior is the last thing most of us expected when coming to Drew. We are a small, tight-knit community. A little advice to the vandals: maybe next time don’t admit to defacing a window that you are currently walking under and don’t throw condiments at people’s windows in the first place. We know who you are.