Residents and administrators were surprised to find the newly-opened Ivory Tower vandalized only hours after students moved in to the apartment-style dorm Saturday.
On Saturday night, an unknown number of vandals damaged exit signs, an air conditioning unit and an elevator, in addition to ripping bulletin boards off several walls.
Completed over the summer, Ivory Tower was considered by many students to be the most desirable housing option during spring’s selection process. Damage to the hall has left members of the GW community surprised.
“It’s kind of pathetic to trash the building on the first night,” resident Dan Sahling said.
University Police officials said they are working on tracking down the offender.
“We are using every possible means available to try to identify the perpetrator(s) of this crime,” UPD Chief Delores Stafford wrote in an e-mail. “We do have some security cameras, and they are usually helpful in an investigation.”
The issue remains unsolved, and some students seemed bitter and confused.
“This is an upperclassmen dorm,” resident Melissa Thomas said. “You would think that people would be more mature.”
Since the vandalism occurred late Saturday night before some students even moved in, many residents had not even discovered the damage as of Sunday. Despite the extensive damage, some students remained indifferent.
“I wasn’t that upset,” senior Bret Laduzinsky said. “I really hadn’t noticed much damage.”
Community Living and Learning Center officials reacted swiftly to the destruction, placing flyers in the halls and elevators that asked residents to express their feelings about the damage. CLLC also called a meeting in the building’s food court on Aug. 29.
“On the evening following the incident, we held a building-wide meeting to discuss the incident and what the residents can do to shape the community in which they live,” James Kohl, director of residential life and education, wrote in an e-mail. “We challenged and empowered them to take the lead in curtailing this behavior.”
Junior Lyndsay Walter-Cox, who attended the meeting, said she was alarmed at the increased levels of security proposed by GW officials. She said they announced a decision to increase the number of cameras and community facilitators in the hall in hopes of discouraging future incidents.
Kohl said two community facilitators are currently assigned to Ivory Tower and a community host works the front desk, but declined to say whether more CFs would be assigned to Ivory Tower.
Building resident Kato Hinden said GW “overplayed” the situation and made it out to be more serious than it actually was. Others complained that the meeting was poorly advertised because residents were unaware of it.
GW officials are encouraging anyone who has information about the vandalism to contact UPD investigators at 994-0035, or the anonymous tip line at 994-TIPS.
“Unfortunately, the people who intentionally cause physical damage to the facilities don’t seem to understand that it is the students who ultimately pay the price,” Stafford wrote in an e-mail.