Volume 92, Issue 81

Wednesday, March 3, 1999


Modern form of discrimination

Country living

Costly mistakes can be made by everybody

Never asked for varsity

Millennium bugs

White male generalization

Cleaning up campus vandalism

The not so Canadian game

Cleaning up campus vandalism

By Matt Pearson
Gazette Staff

In terms of petty crime, vandalism seems the most senseless. We're so used to seeing it every day that we instinctively ignore the black marker scribbles on city buses or the fraternity insignia carved into the wall of a public washroom stall.

On our campus, vandalism is ubiquitous. Washrooms and Weldon Library table tops offer endless space for vandals to waste their time perfecting moronic poetry which almost always begins with either: "Roses are red, violets are blue," or "I was here, but now I'm gone." We should be proud to study alongside such beacons of wit!

What is most suprising about vandalism on a university campus is the fact there is so much of it. In virtually every building on campus, there is some form of vandalism. One would hope, almost expect, that people who have the intelligence and motivation to study at the university level would not likely be the same type who draw pictures of joints and penises on bathroom walls.

At a time when students are most concerned about where their tuition money is going, imagine the costs incurred annually to clean up, repair and in some cases, replace surfaces damaged by vandalism. What a travesty it would be if some of the services we take for granted at Western were cut because greater portions of the budget were needed to clean up after people who couldn't possibly handle staring at a blank wall or table. It begs the question of how much more money would be available to students if it wasn't needed for senseless repairs?

Regardless, one evening at The Spoke, a visit to the men's washroom yielded a much more serious form of vandalism. On the stall door, carved and not drawn, was a swastika – a stark reminder of extreme tolerance which has no place at Western.

After reporting the discovery to the manager, I was assured it would be taken care of. Within minutes, the swastika was covered. I was impressed The Spoke management displayed such a high degree of integrity by immediately reacting to the situation. Intolerance has no place on our campus and proactive people like those who manage The Spoke set an example by demonstrating some things are just not acceptable in a learning environment open to all people.

Vandalism is senseless. It wastes people's money and time cleaning up after it. Yet there is a huge difference between "For a good time call Suzy" and a swastika. Thankfully, The Spoke agrees.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999