Greek Week ’13 ended with campus vandalism on Friday, April 12. The letters “GDI” were spray-painted in black on Kappa Delta’s sorority house. The same markings were found on “the rock,” which was painted for Alpha Xi Delta’s philanthropy.
Kasia Szczerbinski, Richmond senior, pledged during the Spring semester of her sophomore year. She felt personally affected by the vandalism.
“A GDI is a really negative term for people that aren’t Greek, and I know that while everybody jokes around and stuff, I would never make fun of anybody for not being Greek,” Szczerbinski said. “It’s a very personal decision.”
Kenneth Snyder, director of campus safety, and his office was informed the next morning. Spray paint cans were found on campus dumpsters, so campus safety is attempting to locate where they were bought and then track any receipts.
“Well, we were notified by a faculty member about some graffiti on one of the college vehicles by Olin hall, and we found graffiti throughout campus, mostly on the west side of campus,” Snyder said.
Nicole Iraola, Saline sophomore, was initiated to Alpha Xi Delta during her freshman year. The rock was painted for Autism Awareness Month.
“I was disappointed when I first saw it,” Iraola said. “I don’t know why somebody would do that. It did confuse me, like I thought that was weird.”
Greek organizations were not the only targets. College vehicles, street signs, pavement and a student’s car were all vandalized. A swastika was found on a nearby church, too.
“Facilities was in and tried to clean up the vulgar statements and then the swastika,” Snyder said.
The observatory houses one of the oldest telescopes in the country. Graffiti was found on that building.
“They were very concerned about the observatory because it’s a state historical site and since they actually defaced the sign, too,” Snyder said. “They were able to get that off.”
This is Snyder’s 13th year as director of campus safety. It’s been close to eight years since he has seen this type of crime affect the college and community.
“You can still see [graffiti] on the sign that says ‘Albion Smart Community,’ and they painted a bunch of vehicles,” Snyder said. “In that situation it was college vehicles, and now they just tagged one student’s vehicle. We’re lucky that we haven’t had too many spray-paintings over the years.”
Even though the spray-painting targeted Greek organizations, Szczerbinski believes it won’t change campus life.
“I wouldn’t change anything about my Greek community,” Szczerbinski said. “I think that Albion has actually a pretty strong Greek community. We don’t have a lot of rivalries that a lot of other Greek communities do. Whoever did that is a person who needs to look at themselves.”
Campus safety is still investigating the incident by using cameras and by trying to find out where the spray-paint cans were purchased.
“In my opinion that act was ignorant,” Snyder said. “If it was one of our students, it was a waste of money, not to mention an embarrassment to the college. If it wasn’t one of our students, then I would want them to know that we’re going to try to catch them. If anybody knows anything, we’d love to hear from them.”
Photo by Alexa Hyman