FECES IN THE NEWS: AND I THOUGHT FARTING IN THE ELEVATOR WAS BAD...
By Taylor Smith, Staff Writer
Published: Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Media Credit: Nick Esares/The Gamecock (University of
The elevator in Bates West is shut down for the second time this semester because someone had left feces inside. For the second time this semester, Bates West residents on Monday discovered a bowl of feces in an elevator, which could result in a building-wide fine for the upperclassman dorm.
Shortly after the discovery, a sign was posted reading: "If you are responsible for this act, please stop ... " and "The entire building will be fined for the cleaning of the feces."
Andy Fink, associate director of Residence Life, said if the culprits do not come forward, then the makeshift poster threatening a building-wide fine could come true."
"In repeat offenses, we want the community to be involved and aware, but it is not good to bill students for something so minor," Fink said. "For minor things we will alert them, but we may be forced, if we can\'t identify the person, to have to charge students."
Fink said instances of residence hall vandalism are seldom, but incidents of this nature are "rude and crude and unusual."
"It is a matter of cleaning," Fink said. "If someone has to go into the elevator shaft, then that is something Housing can't do, so we will have to hire the elevator company, which takes money to do."
Typically, Fink said, a situation like this results in the voluntary surrender of the guilty party. He cited one such case in the Towers years ago, when a student ripped a drinking machine out of wall, which damaged the plumbing as well. With the costly nature of the crime, Fink said that the cost was enough to fine the floor, but a student came forward and went through the student discipline system.
"When we notify students that something has occurred, we are hoping to have someone come forward and then fine those who are responsible for what has happened," Fink said. "Peers should be holding peers to a higher standard of behavior."
First-year exercise science student Derek Pressley, a Bates West resident, said prevention could be the solution by installing cameras in elevators. Most said they feel a fine would be "unfair" and "unnecessary."
"The fining thing is the last resort," Fink said. "We wait a considerable amount of time, so people can talk about it, police can talk about it and we can figure out what has happened."Bates West hall government president Rick Wetherell, a second-year political science student, said he sees Hall Director Ted Lewis' logic in fining residents.
"All students need to be involved in keeping the residence hall," Fink said. "Our hope is that regarding what has happened in Bates West and elsewhere, people will come forth and thus get this resolved."