Vandalism discussed on Trinity campus

 

An emergency circle was held with residents of Mercy Hall on Feb. 19 to discuss the vandalism on Trinity campus.

Damages for vandalism where the culprit cannot be identified are added up and charged to all students of the building it takes place in.

Sometimes video cameras or tips to a Residential Advisor (RA) can be used to identify students who are destroying property but this does not always result in a conviction.

Sophomore and RA Alexandra Smith said that she thinks vandalism happens on the campus’ that are farthest away from Central campus, particularly she cited Jeane Mance as suffering extensive vandalism.

There are also the reputations of certain campus’ that Smith said may contribute to the amount of vandalism present.

“There’s all these rumors that Trinity is the party campus,” she said. “I think the way people view themselves, their living situation and the way they talk about it to other people influences what kind of people come here [Trinity] to vandalize.”

Student Life Professional Christina Olstad talked about the image Trinity campus is giving off with its abundance of litter.

“As a resident of Trinity and as someone that is out often walking . . . something I have noticed is the incredible amount of trash out in the woods behind Mercy Hall,” Olstad said. “It really saddens me because this is our community.”

Olstad explained that UVM has a strong commitment to the environment and sustainable practices.

She said that the littering has not been a general occurrence but has significantly increased since she first moved to Trinity campus five years ago.

“One of the things I would love to see happen is for Hall Council to get really involved in ways to beautify this campus,” Olstad said.

Olstad imagined an initiative where Hall Council would work with Facilities Operations to create an area behind Mercy Hall that would be more functional than the current situation.

Her idea was of a large concrete patio with picnic tables and a specific canister for cigarette butts that is placed 25 feet from the building. She said there are a lot of possibilities for the campus such as organizing a spring planting or a neighborhood clean-up day.

“I would love to see students get more involved in the solutions,” Olstad said.

According to Olstad, there is a portion of money per student that goes to Hall Council so they have funds to enhance residential student experience.

Olstad said that the best way to have projects take place is for students themselves to ask for what they want.

“What we know is that when students engage with each other and talk about how the actions of others are affecting their experiences, their peers will listen,” Olstad said.