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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

College is no place for vandalism

Published: November 18, 2011
Section: Editorials

Imagine you are a prospective student, walking up the stairs and past the doors of Usen One. Your first views of Brandeis have been pleasant so far and you have to say that Massell Pond is actually quite attractive. Then, as you walk past the girls’ bathroom, you behold a view of vulgarity: the word “cocks” written in Sharpie, blatantly on the door. And, when you walk past the boys’ bathroom, you see “penis” prominently displayed.

This is an egregious wrongdoing—an embarrassment to our community as a whole and an unwarranted clean-up job for the maintenance staff that works here.

This act resembles something an immature high school freshman would do amid their new situation. But you are not high school freshmen anymore and this disparity reflects how truly disappointing it is to find such words strewn across the halls. Not only do the students who live there have to see this vandalism, but so do the tour groups that traverse the halls on a daily basis. What image do they take away about Brandeis from this? Do they think we are juvenile children who play the penis game, regardless of the time and place? Hopefully not.

In truth, this does not make us look like the community of intellectuals and unique individuals for which we would like to be known and hopefully are.

Most disturbing is the fact that the careless individuals who marked Usen Hall are not—and most likely have no intentions of—removing the indecencies from the doors, thereby leaving the onus on the maintenance staff. For Usen Hall residents who know the staff, this is an embarrassment. It is disheartening to know that the kind and hardworking individuals who clean up after our messes every week have to see this vandalism. As if the dirty dishes tossed around the lounges and various smells emanating from the garbage cans weren’t enough, it is now a further embarrassment to have derogatory terms brazenly written on the doors. The industrious facilities workers have tried to remove the profanity but have been unsuccessful.

We hope that incidences like this do not discourage future students from applying. We hope that the facilities workers know that we appreciate and respect them. And we hope that the people who did this are reading this and know that this sort of behavior is unacceptable and places a black mark on the entire community.