Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Vandals strike at South Scott Hall

South Scott Hall residents received an email March 18 about charges they may receive to their student accounts after a series of damages were made to the hall between Feb. 13 and March 16.

The email notice, sent by South Scott Residence Hall Director Mandy Briggs, stated if an individual or individuals do not come forward by April 8 to take responsibility for the vandalism, charges would be made to the student accounts of hall residents.

According to the email, much of the damages made were to the ninth floor, where a fire extinguisher was stolen and numerous room number plaques were torn off the walls, in some instances causing damage to the cinder block material.

The email states charges would be made on the basis of where damages occurred. For instance, damages on the ninth floor would be billed to ninth floor residents, but damages to the first floor would be charged to the entire building.

Students agree to these charges in their Housing and Dining Services Contract.

The email stated the damages totaled $155, but that number only includes the assessed cost for two of the eight cases of vandalism listed.

Abby Sylvia, assistant director for Residence Life, said the remainder of the costs has yet to be evaluated.

“We are working with the facilities staff to determine costs, and they have not been finalized,” Sylvia said.

South Scott resident Eric Ouellette said he does not feel the damages made to the hall were serious.

“I don’t think these damages were bad at all,” Ouellette said. “The email was the first I heard about them. [It] was unexpected because I didn’t notice any damages or violations of this magnitude.”

Ouellette also said he doesn’t think it is fair for residents to be charged for damages they did not create, and only the individuals responsible should be charged.

“I believe the ones who did the more severe damage should [turn themselves in], but other than that it wasn’t that severe to the point that I would agree with charging the whole floor,” Ouellette said.

South Scott resident Logan Brettschneider also said she believes the potential charges to student accounts are unfair.

“I understand that they don’t know who did it, but at the same time it is unfair that I haven’t done anything to damage the property and yet I’m being charged,” Brettschneider said. “Especially because it could be someone not living in South Scott.”

Brettschneider said although she would like whoever is responsible to turn him or herself in, she does not think it is a realistic situation.

“Personally if I did the damages, I would not turn myself in,” Brettschneider said.

According to Brettschneider, there was no prior notification of the damages and the email presenting potential charges was unexpected.

“I was not interviewed, contacted or notified by the police or anyone that there was damages,” Brettschneider said. “I think they should have at least asked the floors that were the majority of the damages.”

According to University Police Chief Joseph LeMire, the UP was not initially contacted regarding any of the incidents in South Scott Hall.

Sylvia said UP had been notified of the incidents on Tuesday, March 31.

“It is our understanding that this information has now been shared with University Police,” Sylvia said.

Sylvia said she would like students to view their residence halls as their “home,” where they live for a substantial portion of a year.

“We want everyone to understand that any damages can have a negative impact on the quality of life in the community,” Sylvia said. “All of us—students, custodians and hall staff—need to work together to keep our residence halls as nice as possible.”

Sylvia said no one has come forward to take responsibility for the damages at this time.

In the email to residents, Briggs asked that if anyone has questions or concerns regarding the common area damage charges, to contact her.

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