Bulletin boards vandalized in Murray, VanSteeland living centers

By Celia Harmelink | 9/13/17 9:36pm

Incidents of vandalism have recently occurred in the Mark A. Murray and Ronald F. VanSteeland living centers on Grand Valley State University’s Allendale Campus. 

Schae Maynard, the assistant living center director for the Murray and VanSteeland Apartments, said this is the second time this semester this type of vandalism has occurred to the bulletin boards of the Murray Living Center. Two resident assistants, who were on duty at the time, were the first to notice this had happened.

“During move-in week, or the week right after, was the first incident of vandalism to (the third floor RA’s) boards specifically," Maynard said. "Then it kind of cooled down for a little bit, and then I think last week we noticed that it wasn’t just this building. Both Murray and VanSteeland noticed that the same pattern happened.” 

An email was sent out to South Campus residents informing them of this incident and asking them to contact the living center director if an act of vandalism were to be witnessed. The person(s) responsible have yet to be found.

Joon Park, a resident of VanSteeland, received the email about the RA boards being vandalized. 

“The RAs put in a lot of time and effort to make this place feel like a home away from home and that by destroying its property, we’re essentially disrespecting our house,” Park said. “When it’s specifically something that someone created and not just something that they have, I think that’s like an attack on someone’s intellectual property, so that’s disrespectful.” 

Maynard described the damage done to the bulletin board on the third floor: “They ripped off the bulletin board paper, the poster board, they scratched on it, they took off huge chunks of it and just completely messed it up. It wasn’t just like a big 'X' or something that might be a little more subtle; it’s literally like they were going to destroy this board. I don’t know what their reasoning is.” 

When an act of vandalism occurs, Maynard said the first thing they do is file a report about it to let the staff know what has happened and to alert them to keep an eye out for possible incidences in the future. 

“That would be the first step after me sending out an email—holding floor meetings—and if that doesn’t seem to remedy the issue, we would have to take a step further,” she said. “This is my first year as the grad for this building, so I really haven’t heard too much of it being an issue in the past, but I’m sure that it happens.”

Maynard said they are still trying to figure out who did it and if their actions were intentional or if they just didn’t like the board. 

“That shouldn’t be a reason for students to vandalize the work of the RAs because (their) job is to make sure people feel like this is their second home,” she said. “So, we can’t tolerate behavior like that. We’re trying to get to the bottom of that as quickly as possible.”

The bulletin boards in the living centers are meant to provide information to the residents, and the community is potentially put at a disadvantage if they are ruined.

“We work very closely with our RAs to make sure that if need be, they will hold a floor meeting to speak to their residents one-on-one and say, ‘Hey, we’re noticing this is a pattern; we’re trying to stop this behavior because it really doesn’t benefit anybody,'" Maynard said. 

In accordance with GVSU’s Student Code, any damage or destruction to the property of the university or other people is prohibited. Any knowledge of misconduct or vandalism should be reported immediately to the university. 

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