Recently, Whitworth’s campus has experienced a profuse amount of vandalism. Crimes ranging from the stealing of the gold letters at Whitworth’s entrances to the Mr. T graffiti that has become prominent have greatly affected the community. Not only has property been defaced, charges have been incurred by the university as the perpetrators of the crimes have yet to be caught.
This board would like to point out that those actions do not align with the prestigious nature of the institution or the values held by the university as a whole. As part of the Whitworth community, we have often prided ourselves on the beauty of our campus. Yet over the past several months, beit considered a practical joke, a way to bond with a roommate or a rite of passage, the thefts and vandalism incidents have brought embarrassment. This board would like students to understand those incidents have surpassed the point of being funny, if they ever were. At this point, the price of replacement and repair has risen insurmountably.
“The university has incurred over $10,000 in sign repair costs plus labor and considerable ‘opportunity’ costs associated with attention to this issue to the detriment of other needs on campus,” said Brian Benzel, vice president for Finance and Administration.
This cost is a result of theft alone and does not reflect the destruction of the main entrance sign at the end of last year.
Benzel goes on further to say the damage is considered among the most severe experienced by the university in recent years.
As the prevalence of theft continues, the university plans to implement enhanced video surveillance to monitor activity around the sign. Benzel said those enhancements would cost the school upwards of $25,000 to provide.
Although a lofty price tag, this board recognizes that those involved in the decision making around the sign are left with very few other options. Whitworth has been a unique place in that it is an institution that places value on truth, honesty and responsibility. This board argues that the actions of those involved with the theft are in direct violation of the trust bestowed upon us.
That money could be used to update the campus and on general equipment maintenance. Yet there is now a need elsewhere, a need that should not be present in the first place if those in this community would respect the property around us.
This board challenges those in the Whitworth community to stand up and fight back against such acts of theft and vandalism. Members of the Whitworth community have raised standards of respect to neighbors in Spokane and promoted a peaceful atmosphere on campus before. However, such peace cannot continue without the integrity and responsibility that the Whitworth community has been entrusted with.
The Whitworth community, as well as the surrounding neighborhoods, must remember a basic principle that has been upheld among communities throughout the world and throughout all time: do not do unto others that you would not want done unto you. That basic principle of respect and reciprocity benefits everyone and should not be passed over so easily.
The thought of spending $25,000 on security updates and cameras is painful, but given the actions of a few, the entire campus is forced to bear the brunt of the cost.
Editorials in the “In the Loop” section reflect the majority opinion of the editorial board, which is made up of five editors.