Damages prompt more public safety patrols

College responds to spikes in vandalism in residence halls

In recent weeks, students have spotted Lafayette College Public Safety officers patrolling the floors in residence halls on campus, particularly in South College Hall and Ruef Hall, due to an increased amount of community damage reports.

After noticing that the frequency of community damage has increased, the office of residence life then partnered with public safety to request extra patrols in the dorm buildings to prevent damages, according to Associate Director of Residence Life Julie Mulé.

“When we see an increase of this [damage], we think about the students who are being affected by the behaviors of a few,” Mulé said. “We want to show support for the students that are being inconvenienced and we also would like to remind students that they have a responsibility to uphold community standards and be positive members of the community.”

Some of the latest examples of such damage are pumpkins being thrown down the pit in Ruef and vomit and urination in the elevator in South, according to South College Resident Advisor Natasha Harris ‘18.

Although public safety patrols all residence halls on a regular basis, they sometimes focus on a certain hall depending on reports from Lafayette College Residence Life. Ruef and South are frequently the focus of such patrols, according to Mulé, who said that more students often means there is more activity in the dorm.

South College is the largest residence hall on campus, currently with 222 residents.One hundred fifty-sevenstudents live in Ruef, the fourth largest dorm on campus and largest hall for only freshman.

According to Acting Directorof Lafayette College Public Safety Jeff Troxell, public safety responds to the requests that residence life sends them, which are typically to patrol an area more often.

“In the initial patrol, [the officers] knocked on all of the doors to let [the residents] know what they were doing and what they were in the buildings for,” Troxell said.

Some students find the increase of public safety officer patrols to be beneficial to resident life, while others find them to be an unnecessary addition to the dorms.

“It’s a weird thing to have public safety walking around all of the time,” Harris said. “But it genuinely is one of those situations where I feel like it’s just to make sure that all of these things don’t become a hassle to the community at large.”

“I think it’s unnecessary, because they don’t need to be there,” Ruef resident Brian Fitzgerald ‘19 said. “They’re not providing more help. Kids still do the same [community damages] at night.”

Mulé, however, said that residence life has seen improvement the number of reported damages in the halls.

“I think it’s gotten better. I think we’re seeing less of the community damage that we were seeing,” Mulé said. “Really for it to work, students in those areas need to be involved in combating the problem.”

In addition to added public safety patrols, RAs have also been asked to be more visible in the residence halls that have helped to solve the issues within the residence halls, according to Mulé.

“Ultimately, we don’t want to see any incidents of vandalism or damage in our environments,” Mule said.“We want every student to feel this is their home and that they don’t damage where they live.”