Campus / Campus Safety / News / January 14, 2009

Vandalism strikes CFA

During the final days of fall term a brick was thrown through a window of CFA. Since then, three more bricks have been hurled into the CFA ceramic shop through the north facing windows. The most recent incident occurred last Thursday. Senior Heather Kopec was directly affected by the damage.

“Last term I lost about two-thirds of my work for the term,” Kopec said.

Kopec, a ceramics major, had completed ceramic pots on tables in the studio when the incidents occurred. She has personally cleaned up much of the mess leftover.

“The one [last Thursday],” Kopec said, “there was glass all the way over … into our clay room. There are still some shards of glass under these cabinets. We got most of it cleaned up, it’s just … went everywhere.”

In response to these incidents, the Knox administration has been forced to consider increasing security on campus. Included in the considerations are security cameras being placed in CFA and around campus.

“It’s a safety concern,” Dean of Students Xavier Romano said. “Let’s not create issues where there are no issues. We are going to be having our first long conversation about this tomorrow in senior staff, which is the president’s cabinet. We’ve been doing a lot of investigating, trying to learn everything we can about what has transpired on four different events. My bottom line, and I suspect the president’s bottom line, there is nothing here but a safety concern for A – students, B – faculty, and C – staff, if it were to happen anywhere else.”

The administration will listen to student concerns on the matter as further action is taken.

“We’re going to listen very carefully to what Senate recommends to us,” Romano said, “and there are some places already that are of interest to us, such as parking lots, the area over at Quick Sam’s is of some interest to us, but we really want to take a step back and listen carefully to what the students have to say and have to recommend. You guys have a better sense of the place than we do. You have a sense of the campus at one a.m. or 11 p.m. that frankly I may not have or others may not have.”

“I’m all for the cameras,” Kopec said. “Over break, they installed a high power light to make this area more illuminated, but they still didn’t deter, so I’m all for cameras now.”

Kopec, also a Student Senator, will work with the senate and students to guide what happens next.

“I think the time has come for Knox to get over the security cameras and the whole ‘Big Brother’ thing,” Kopec said. “It’s not just CFA, it’s Steak House and other parts of campus that are being attacked.”

Overall, changes may well be on the way for how security is handled on campus, but the administration is not pushing for drastic measures.

“There’s always that sense of ‘is Big Brother watching?’” Romano said. “There’s no interest in Big Brother. There’s a great interest here in simply being able to say to any parent, to any trustee, to any student, ‘we are really looking after your safety and security,’ and to feel good about it. That’s it. We’re talking about no other kinds of changes here within our culture. I think we like our culture. We don’t need to change it, we just need to make sure that you guys are safe, and that’s where I’m coming from.”

Andrew Polk

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