In only the first three weeks of September, the Castleton State College Public Safety Department has recorded more than over half a dozen cases of vandalism. The incidents range from petty vehicular damages to more drastic events like a small tree fire on Sept. 6.”We generally don’t have a lot of vandalism on campus,” says Dean of Students Dennis Proulx. “Most of the time, vandalism is not an issue for the majority of kids. Most find it unnecessarily damaging to the community.”
The first of this trend was a tree fire on the sixth, which Proulx said is a relatively big issue considering the safety risks it poses not just of starting a forest fire, but the safety of students and community members too. Luckily, it was reported by students in time to prevent any calamity, he said.
The second incident was reportedly an “arson,” though perhaps a bit overstated, according to Proulx.
“In truth, it was just a 8.5-by-11 poster that someone lit the corner of. We have to call it something, so we classify it as arson,” he said.
Other occurrences include a side mirror of a car being broken, the Coffee Cottage and Jeffords buildings being egged, the front door handle of Adams Hall being snapped off and a broken chain and post in between Huden and Adams.
“We don’t want to classify every occurrence of ‘damage’ as vandalism. I can see how people having ‘fun’ can often damage things. I don’t necessarily condone it, but we also don’t want to make assumptions that every little ‘damage’ is a violent act against our campus,” Proulx said.
“Other colleges have ‘damage deposits’ at the start of the year, assuming damages will occur. We don’t do that here and we don’t want to. We try to find the individuals who are responsible so that people can be held personally accountable,” Proulx said.
Last year, the college billed individuals for damages up to a total of $7,850. The year before, the college billed $9,860.
So far, those responsible for the recent vandalism have not been identified or billed.