After two instances of light pole vandalism last semester, three other poles were destroyed on Saturday night or early Sunday morning.
This year there has been more expensive vandalism than there has been in the past, though not necessarily more vandalism in general. Each pole costs around $220 to replace or repair.
“Ultimately, these costs have to come from somewhere,” said Chad Coleman, resident director, “and it’s unfortunate that other areas of the college’s interests are impacted by these unaccounted hits on the overall budget.”
One of the poles knocked down was between Newcomer and the Union, one between the library and the Church-Chapel and one south of the Yoder dorm sidewalk. According to Coleman, they appeared to have been plowed over or tackled by one or more people.
This vandalism comes at an especially inopportune time, when lighting on campus is crucial to ensuring students’ safety.
“We would love a ‘campus neighborhood watch’ kind of initiative from our students,” said Coleman. “Our campus is our community and we have to respect it and protect it. I would urge anyone who sees this type of behavior to immediately call security or the on-call resident director.”
The perpetrator of the light pole vandalism last semester was never caught. Intentional vandalism is a category three violation at Goshen College, which means that the culprit would have to provide restitution as well as possibly face disciplinary probation and meet with the Standards Response Team.
Coleman calls students or staff to report any vandalism they observe.
“Incidents such as these can have a trickle-down effect on all of us,” he said.