Vandalism at Shepherd University is becoming a serious issue and while the main solution is to repair the damages, it has repercussions to student residents as a whole.
Sights such as bathrooms defiled, shower curtains ripped and torn, graffiti, pulled down ceiling tiles, abused traffic signs and bulletin boards, and holes in the walls are just a few examples of what has been taking place on campus.
Yet, to combat the damages and without a known culprit, students living wherever the damage is found are cur-billed, in which they are collectively charged by Residence Life to pay for repairs. This method is supposed to deter students away from destructive behavior and RAs even offer the chance for the culprit to claim responsibility for the mess, thus he or she will be billed while the other students accused are saved from having to pay. Unfortunately, no one is willing to take the blame.
Elisa Woodbrey, associate director of residence life, explained, “My experience here in Residence Life is that vandalism is the result of horseplay.”
The amount the students pay is dependent on the bill, not by the school, but rather the company they hire to do the repairs. On average, residence life faculties and repairs cost $25 each, trash is $25, replacement carpet per square foot is $25, etc. The cost is then divided per resident, which amounts to $6.25 each resident must pay.
“Regardless of what students think, we don’t like community billing,” said Woodbrey.
Senior Brenda Darby suggested one method to cracking down on the vandalism that occurs within the residence halls. “They had cameras in the military,” said Darby. He also said that they had cameras in boarding school.
“It’s an issue of not being able to watch everyone,” RA Rebecca Morris said. “The best we can do is tell other people and monitor Rambler use,” referring to the Rambler-activated digital locks that register student activity in the dorms.
Janitor Ricci McIntyre expressed her opinion on the issue. “It’s kind of childish. Some of us live on this campus, and some of us live on it more,” said McIntyre. “It’s all of our area, it’s all of our home; we should treat it like it is our home.”
Woodbrey shared a similar sentiment: “It’s really about students taking responsibility and ownership of their home.”