Vandalism at Morningside College

First impressions are as important for places as they are people, and depending on how you approach Morningside College the first impression you get is “under construction”.After several letters were stolen from a sign showing the name of the college in front of the Eppley Parking Lot, the school decided to remove the rest of the letters. The reason for this decision was both to prevent further theft and to prepare the sign for possible renovation so that letters cannot be easily stolen in the future, a step that has already been taken with other signs around campus.

According to Brett Lyon, director of safety and security at Morningside College, vandalism is something that happens at every college campus. “People feel the need to take letters off signs,” he explained, which can cost the college thousands of dollars to replace. That’s thousands of dollars that could be spent improving the campus, but instead goes into replacing things that are broken or stolen by vandals who are sometimes not even students at the college.

Unless there are clear leads to investigate, it is difficult for campus security to follow up on these crimes. Though the damage is usually noticed by the following morning, without witnesses there is often no reasonable line of investigation and focus is instead shifted to repairing the damage.

Lyon concluded by stating that, with so many students living on campus for so many months out of the year, Morningside College is like a second home. “No one destroys their home,” he said, wishing that everyone took pride in their campus and made an effort to make it a nicer place.

While the college will eventually replace the sign with a more vandal-proof alternative, budgetary concerns are an obvious limiting factor. For now the blank sign stands in mute testimony to the damage that vandals can cause to the image of a college.

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