Williams Hall suffered about $2,200 worth of damage the first weekend of Winter Study.
The damage, which spread throughout the entries and included a hole in a wall, broken glass and damage to safety equipment, has been billed to all six entries in the hall.
Coordinator of Housing Linda Brown said, “for a building to have a damage bill of $2,000 over the course of the entire year, let alone one weekend, is highly unusual.”
According to David Boyer, assistant director of security, the damage was highly atypical and all of it seemed to be related.
“We believe that a few individuals are responsible and that most of the building knows who they are,” he said. “One student has already voluntarily admitted guilt.”
Boyer attributed much of the damage to “alcohol and the ridiculous allure of college safety equipment.” Security has scheduled entry talks to discuss the issue with first-year entries.
Williams Hall resident Philip Bartles ’03 attributed the problem to “kids getting drunk and doing stupid stuff.”
Most damage to college property is first discovered by the custodial staff, which ordinarily reports it to the housing office. In cases where there is a large amount of damage, Security becomes involved. Work orders are written up to repair the damage.
“If the identity of the individual responsible is known,” Brown noted, “we will bill him or her directly.”
“If not, the cost is spread throughout the entire entry or building. Currently, all of Williams hall is being billed.”
Sonya Ravindranath ’01, the JA in Williams A, said that her entry was “not very happy about paying for the damages collectively.” Williams A has not discussed the issue as a group, but has had an entry meeting with Security, which Ravindranath noted “helped clear the issue up.”
“Williams Hall has a reputation for having people who don’t live here coming over and doing what they want,” Bartles said. “For example, the friends of some of the kids who live here came over and threw a table down the stairs.”
“Spreading the cost through everyone who lives in the hall probably just encourages destructive behavior because the people causing the problem are largely free from consequences,” Bartles said.
“I think most people know who’s responsible but won’t name names. The only thing that will stop the damage is for people to get caught in the act. There isn’t a dominant ethos of destruction – only a few individuals who are disrespectful of college property.”