Incidents of vandalism – including broken ceiling tiles and littering – have plagued Ivory Tower since it opened in August of 2004, and continued damages so far this semester have prompted a stern e-mail from a GW community director.
An e-mail sent to Ivory Tower residents on Halloween from Community Director Alexander Gruenberg encouraged them to report incidents to the University Police Department. In October, there were eight cases of destruction in Ivory Tower, according to the UPD crime log, and in September there were another eight reported cases of destruction in the building, including broken fire extinguisher glass enclosures.
“These acts include breaking ceiling tiles, tearing down of bulletin boards, and profuse littering in the halls and elevators. If you witness acts of vandalism or have any information relating to who is responsible, it is strongly requested that you contact GWPD to report what you know,” Gruenberg said in the e-mail.
Gruenberg said students could also make anonymous tips to UPD if they witness vandalism or suspicious behavior.
UPD Chief Dolores Stafford said housing staff is trying to “educate residents about vandalism.” She said Ivory Tower has seen incidents of vandalism since its first days; in its first semester alone, there were 10 or more incidents of people breaking out ceiling tiles.
Many Ivory Tower residents said there have been many more damages than those reported, and expressed their disgust with the broken ceiling tiles and elevators trashed on weekend mornings with alcohol bottles and cups.
Junior James Noetzel lives on the third floor of Ivory but pointed out the fourth floor as “one of the worst” for destruction incidents.
“It’s disconcerting to see ceiling tiles hanging haphazardly… it’s just a nuisance really,” Noetzel said.
“I always just assumed it was drunk people,” he said about the broken ceiling tiles.
Parents of a high school senior visiting junior A.J. Wiegand, who lives on the fourth floor, “were disgusted by the hallways,” Wiegand said, adding that he thought it was “kind of immature” for a dorm housing juniors and seniors.
Like the other residents, Asia Stewart, a senior living on the first floor, is unsure of what prevention can occur.
“Can you really stop drunk students?” Stewart said. “I’ve noticed people ripping down things, trash all over the place in the laundry and common area.”
Stewart said destruction occurs mainly on the weekends and includes a mixture of residents and their guests, but she said she thinks it’s mostly GW students in the end.
“It’s disgusting and immature,” Stewart said. “Why destroy where you live?”
She suggested the University send more e-mails and communicate with residents to reduce the vandalism.
“Making people more aware of it – tell people you can be penalized… start somewhere,” she said.