Vandalism on campus

SAMANTHA LUND

Editor in Chief

lundsr@plu.edu

Campus Safety stumbled upon a vandalised piece of art worth hundreds of dollars in the Karen Hille Phillips center.

While students were gone this J-Term, one student entered KHP, took out a marker and drew a face on a painting hanging in the main lobby.

Campus Safety officer Mathew Hitchiner found the painting around 8:15 a.m. on Jan. 26 in a routine patrol of the building.

“Upon discovering the vandalism, I took photos of the painting for my report and informed the office staff of the incident for documentation,” Hitchiner said.

After finishing his walkthrough of the building, Hitchiner contacted the School of Arts and Communication office so they could inform the painting’s owner of what happened.

The persons responsible for the destruction of property were not found out, but the SOAC were made aware in case the person is found.

The art has since been removed from KHP and the artist was contacted.

Vandalism during J-Term wasn’t popular, but when it happened it was intense. Along with the destroyed painting, South Hall’s bathrooms were destroyed between the night of Jan. 19 and the morning of Jan. 20. Campus Safety discovered the main lobby bathrooms had a soap dispenser pulled from the wall and vomit along the sink and floor. Unlike the painting vandalism, the student connected with this incident was found but claims only the vomit belonged to them.

Campus Safety sent the student’s incident to Student Rights and Responsibilities.

In Washington state, vandalism is considered “Malicious Mischief” which contains three degrees for different scenarios. First degree malicious mischief is when property valued at more that $1500 is destroyed or the vandalism has an effect on public safety. First degree malicious mischief is a class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.

More likely to have an effect on students is second degree malicious mischief which happens when the damages are valued at more than $250, like the painting in KHP. If found to be guilty of second degree malicious mischief, the accused would be charged with a class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and fines up to $10,000.

For smaller damages adding up to over $50, an offender would be charged with a gross misdemeanor, charged up to one year in jail and up to $5,000 in fines.

Know your laws before you choose to break the law, Lutes. You never know who’s watching and what’ll come out of it. 🅼

Samantha Lund

Samantha Lund was the Editor in Chief at The Mast, a student-run newsroom within Pacific Lutheran University, in 2015-16. Lund created Mast Magazine in 2015 to give students a forum for long form news pieces. She could be found writing for Pacific Lutheran University's Marketing and Communication site plu.edu or interning at MOViN 92.9's morning talk show in Seattle. Other places to find her content include: Alaska Airlines blog and website, The News Tribune and The Bremerton Harald.

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