News

Fence damaged, vandalized; students gather in support

A message was left on one of the posts of the Fence when it was vandalized. (credit: Alan Vangpat/Photo Staff) A message was left on one of the posts of the Fence when it was vandalized. (credit: Alan Vangpat/Photo Staff) Students paint over the vandalized portions of the Fence at a gathering Thursday night. (credit: Alan Vangpat/Photo Staff) Students paint over the vandalized portions of the Fence at a gathering Thursday night. (credit: Alan Vangpat/Photo Staff)

The Fence was subject to vandalism Wednesday night, June 22, for the second time in a year, as layers of paint were shaved off several areas. Approximately 20 students gathered at midnight Thursday night to cover up the damage by repainting the Fence.

In addition to damaging the Fence, the vandal or vandals also wrote a message on one of its posts that said, "Hey CMYou you are a babe! NOT... Just kidding or am I? Now get back to studying...weirdos..."

The last time the Fence was intentionally damaged was March 21, when a group of students cut into it with a hacksaw. According to their open letter, those students acted out of curiosity and had no malicious intent.

Clare Graziano, a senior drama major and an Andrew Ambassador, or tour guide, for the university, explained that she and the other ambassadors first noticed the damage Thursday morning. With university officials' permission, Graziano helped organize another repainting of the Fence. "We wanted to make sure the Fence was ready as a positive message for the pre-college students when they arrive on Saturday," she said.

Gina Casalegno, the dean of Student Affairs, said in an e-mail, "The actions taken by students thus far to repair and repaint the structure are ones I applaud. One of the hallmarks of the Fence tradition is the way in which it is grass-roots organized and implemented, and to have students engaged in the response to such an incident is well-placed and appropriate. As such, any discussion of possible steps to take from here would be ones I would like to engage and involve student leadership in considering, which I intend to do as more hopefully emerges from the investigation."

Will Weiner, a junior social and decision sciences and statistics double major who is a Student Senator, reinforced this emphasis on student leadership. "Something student government is going to look into is to see if we can use some sort of security camera around here or some sort of security feature, so that's going to be one of the higher priorities when school gets into session, if not this summer," he said. "[It's] something we want to look into to see if there's a way we can get some sort of protection because ultimately that's part of our job, to protect our campus."

Despite the circumstances, the overall attitude of the evening was positive. Weiner said, "I said this last time, and I'll say it again: It's awesome to see so many people are coming out in support of [the Fence repainting]— in such short notice, in the summer, with finals tomorrow — from all different divisions of the school."