Four cases of vandalism were committed in the last week at Ivory Tower, a residence hall that has been plagued by destruction since it opened in late August. University Police have not yet found any students responsible for the damage.
Despite increased patrols by UPD and Community Living and Learning Center staff, there have been 17 reported incidents of vandalism at the 729-bed hall, located at 23rd and G streets. Thurston Hall, a freshman dormitory with a population that exceeds Ivory Tower’s by about 400, has had one act of vandalism since late August.
The number of reported incidents does not represent the total number of items destroyed in the Ivory Tower because some of them resulted in multiple items.
On Oct. 13, an unknown person drew graffiti on a first floor bathroom; two days later a ceiling tile was broken on the tenth floor. On Oct. 16, vandals destroyed a ceiling tile, bulletin board and an exit sign on the sixth floor. They also activated a fire extinguisher. The next day, a tenth floor exit sign was found partially removed.
Three of the vandalism incidents occurred when a UPD officer was stationed at Ivory Tower Thursday through Saturday nights from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m.
“The vandalism is happening randomly throughout the building,” UPD chief Dolores Stafford said. “I don’t believe there is any floor that has not been vandalized.”
Stafford said she believes the 17 incidents of vandalism are unrelated even though many of them involve the similar destruction of bulletin boards and emergency exit signs.
UPD investigators hope to solve the crimes by talking to students, but so far they have failed to uncover any leads. Stafford said her department is not offering a reward for information.
“We are convinced there are people in the building with information, and I am not sure why they are not sharing (it),” Stafford said. “I don’t believe offering (a reward) would be incentive for these people.”
UPD plans to discuss the numbers of building patrols with CLLC and will ask Student and Academic Support Services officials for additional cameras to be installed in the dorm’s hallways. Currently, the cameras in Ivory Tower cover the exterior doors and dining areas. Thurston has cameras covering every hallway.
Stafford said reviewing surveillance footage has produced no leads because of the large amount of foot traffic in the dorm, which she said is one of the busiest at GW.