A member of the janitorial staff of the College of William and Mary discovered Oct. 16 that someone vandalized the interior of St. George Tucker Hall with feces the previous night. The reason behind the actions is still unknown.
William and Mary Police Captain Edgar Schardein said this criminal incident strays from the normal respectful attitude that most College students exhibit.
“[In] the spring 2014 semester and this semester to date, we have had only this incident of vandalism to an academic building,” Schardein said in an email. “There have been nine vandalisms in residence halls, four to vehicles, and one to a bench on the grounds.”
This is, however, the third vandalism incident reported to William and Mary Police in four years that targeted Tucker Hall specifically. In October 2010 the exterior was vandalized with graffiti, and in September 2013 an exterior door was damaged.
Schardein said that in his five years with the College, he could not recall another case of feces being used for vandalism.
The incident occurred three days before Homecoming, but Schardein said the William and Mary Police will not know whether there is a connection between Homecoming and the vandalism until they are able to identify and question the vandal.
According to department of English chair Adam Potkay, the William and Mary Police possess video evidence of the incident taken from the monitor cameras in Tucker Hall to aid them in catching the culprit.
The vandal’s motives are still a mystery, but because of his chosen technique, any humorous value was lost on students who frequent the building.
“It’s mortifying,” Jordan Ingram ’16 said. “Since I’m getting ready to touch the doors, it’s gross.”
Ingram added that this is the second incident of vandalism that she can remember in her time at the College; the first took place in her residence hall.
Vandalism is a crime punishable by Virginia law and College policy.
“The crime reported in this incident is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to twelve months in jail, a $2,500 fine, either or both,” Schardein said.
Vandalism also violates Section III, Article B of the William and Mary Student Code of Conduct, which addresses damaging the College’s property.
The Student Conduct Council issued 63 charges of damage to property during the 2012-2013 academic year.
“Our code allows for the panel to sanction a student with a formal warning all the way up to permanent dismissal,” Student Conduct Council co-chair Ryan Polk ’15 said in an email. “This includes probation, probation with loss of privileges and suspensions.”
Polk said the council considers aggravating factors, which could include the particular method of vandalism, when deciding on sanctions.
Additionally, the panel can issue secondary sanctions, such as restitution or community service with the janitorial staff.