University deals with problem of vandalism on school property

FAMU has seen a resurgence of vandalism with as many as seven new cases since the beginning of the school year and four in February alone.

“It makes our school look like there is no control,” said Angelene Tennyson. “It’s immature and childish.”

Tennyson, 19, a sophomore criminal justice student from Fort Lauderdale, said the culprits, who vandalize things on campus might be trying to prove a point.

It is used as a recreational activity and they do it just for fun, she said.

FAMU Police Department Lt. Angela Kirkland said the four incidents that have taken place this month were at Palmetto North, Moore-Kittles Baseball Field, the band practice field parking lot and a campus golf cart.

Other cases of vandalism have taken place at FAMU DRS and atop the tarp of the Gore Education Complex near Wheatley, Truth and McGuinn Halls.

“On a scale from 1-10, these are minor incidents – misdemeanors,” Kirkland said.

One of the most recent vandalism cases was the spray painting of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. wall beside Lee Hall. Although this is one of first cases of the year where Greek walls have been defaced, this type of vandalism is not new to FAMU.

In 2005, the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. fraternity house and the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. wall of were defaced as well.

In 2005, a group of female students vandalized Gibbs Hall with feminine and food products on the floors and walls. And in Truth Hall, blue footprints were found covering the third floor and the dorm went under close surveillance and a police investigation.

Omar Floyd, a resident adviser in Palmetto South, said some of most recent cases he’s seen in his residential housing facilities were graffiti on the walls.

Floyd, a 20-year-old, sophomore business management student from Jackson, Miss., said there haven’t been a lot of new cases, but when there are, they immediately request the services of the on-campus housing department to paint over them.

Many University faculty and staff members are searching to find solutions to the vandalism problem that exists.

There has been a suggestion to paint murals on open spaces to eliminate the temptation of culprits to create their own artwork.

“I think it’s one way (to eliminate problems) and also changing patterns to appreciate art,” said Harris Wiltsher, associate professor of visual arts.

Wiltsher said that about a year and a half ago some of his students, who have since graduated, had the idea to paint murals around the school, but the idea never came to fruition.

“As people begin to appreciate art like the Greek wall paintings, they’ll be less inclined to vandalize something like that,” said Wiltsher.

Acts of vandalism are considered to be criminal mischief and can be punishable.

“As students, we should be on a mature level,” Tennyson said.She said students should take pride in their school, and should want to protect it and make sure they don’t destroy its beauty. “Currently there are no suspects,” Kirkland said.

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