Dorm damage up in Senior Apartments
Following the surge in residence hall vandalism this fall, Alfond Apartments residents have worked collaboratively to develop new policies that they hope will help limit further vandalism to the building while still allowing the Apartments to serve as a central hub for student life on the weekends.
In an e-mail sent to the entire student body, residents announced that “the doors to Alfond will now be open to the senior class and invited underclassmen.” This is an attempt to prevent extra students from milling about in the hallways. The decision to limit access to the building became necessary after 25 exit signs were destroyed and significant damage was caused to windows and hallways in the dorm over the course of the semester.
Additionally, security will now patrol the apartments on the weekends in a further effort to minimize damage by escorting any uninvited students out of the apartments and ensuring that large crowds aren’t in the hallways.
“We hope to scale back this measure in the future, but [we] view it as a current necessity,” Alfond Community Advisor (CA) Peter Randall ’12 said.
As of mid-October, the total fee for residence hall vandalism in the Alfond Apartments exceeded $11,000, which breaks down to each resident paying approximately $117.
“Not only does this level of damage cause a significant financial burden on the Alfond residents, but it illustrates that thus far we have not achieved our goals as a community,” Randall said.
At least one person from each apartment attended a community meeting held to discuss how to minimize future dorm damage. The two major issues identified at the meeting were that the majority of the dorm damage was being caused by large numbers of people in the hallways on weekend nights, and that many of the people inflicting the damage hadn’t been invited to the apartments.
“Not a single person had reported anyone doing the damage, leading us to come to the simple conclusion that no one felt accountable for the individuals who were causing the damage,” Alfond CA Sam Helm ’12 said. After discussing a number of possible solutions for curbing dorm damage, the residents decided that a policy that could provide immediate results needed to be implemented, especially since the weekend of Fall Ball alone, Oct. 15-16, led to $5,000 in dorm damage.
“If the dorm damage total went up $5,000 in one night, we could be at $20,000 in damage in another two weeks,” Helm said.
While the policy may seem unfair to members of the community who must now be invited to the apartments, the residents are not trying to create rifts within the student body with the implementation of the policy.
“This policy was not put into place to segregate seniors from underclassmen,” Alfond Apartments Dorm President Claire Grady ’12 said. “The last thing I would want to do is fracture Colby’s sense of community because of this policy.”
“We hope these changes will promote and foster a space that the entire community, both Alfond residents and guests, can enjoy,” Randall said. “We wish to promote a positive social life on campus and recognize the senior apartments as an integral component to this end. First and foremost, however, it must provide a safe and respected living space for its residents.”
The residents plan to continue to address the issue of dorm damage as deemed necessary and to evaluate the new policies throughout the school year.
“I think the Alfond residents have identified the importance of personal responsibility and ownership of our actions at Colby,” said Student Government Association (SGA) Co-President Laura Maloney ’12. “I hope that we all will uphold these values so that the new Alfond policies will only need to be implemented temporarily.”
After one week under the new policy, vandalism in the apartments has already decreased. Still, students broke two exit signs this past weekend, Oct. 21-22. It is uncertain whether vandalism levels will continue to decline throughout the rest of the academic year.