O-week prank ends with suspensions
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Caught on campus
O-week prank ends with suspensions
By John Intini
Four engineering students confessed to campus police last week they were responsible for orientation week vandalism, consequently receiving one year suspensions from administration for their actions.
Insp. Bob Earle of the University Police Department confirmed four students admitted to a member of his staff on the morning of Sept. 8, to being the perpetrators responsible for vandalism inflicted on campus residences earlier that week.
University administration was immediately notified. The police investigation is now closed and no criminal charges were laid against the students, Earle said.
During the early hours of the morning Sept. 5, campus residences were struck by balloons filled with purple dye. Nearly all campus residences were hit with Delaware Hall suffering the most damage. A window to a staff room was broken at Delaware causing extensive damage to the walls and contents of the room.
According to VP-administration Peter Mercer, upon meeting with the four students, it was decided they would withdraw from Western for one year. Although Mercer would not divulge the names of the four perpetrators he did say the students were all upper-years in the faculty of engineering.
Mercer said both he and VP-academic Greg Moran had clearly laid out the orientation rules in discussions with both orientation staff and specific meetings with the faculty of engineering, in an attempt to eliminate certain types of behaviour.
"It's unfortunate it came to this," he said. "It had been made clear these sorts of acts couldn't continue to be tolerated."
According to Susan Grindrod, senior director of housing and ancillary services, the final cost for repairs will be much greater to the Delaware staff room then was first expected. "The damage to Delaware Hall is in fact quite great and all the initiatives we've done to try to get the purple dye off the walls and doors have not worked we are going to have to repaint.
"This was not a prank, this was vandalism," she added. "I think they're lucky they weren't charged."
Grindrod said she is not surprised the vandals were upper-year students but did express her disappointment over the lack of maturity among the elder students.
"It is clear the engineers have not shown themselves willing to change with the direction the university is trying to set for orientation. All the residents' councils and the University Students' Council have worked together to make orientation a very different and I think good experience for students. The engineers appear to be out of sync with that."
Upon hearing the decision, John Edward, a third-year engineering student, said it didn't make sense.
"This is absolutely ridiculous. The actions were less then a prank," he said. "It may not have been smart but it was done in fun. One happened to break a window. Engineers across the country have been doing this type of thing for 100 years.
"It's pride in one's faculty and these four have obviously been chosen to be an example."
Johnathan Avey, head engineering soph, said he could not comment on the issue based on a lack of information.
There is no formal appeal process open to the students, Mercer said.