A reader alerted us to a case of vandalism last week at a decommissioned Claremont Graduate University dorm. The reader sent along a slew of photos, which we've include in this post. Unfortunately, space limitations preclude us from displaying all of the photos, but you'll get the idea (as always, click on the photos to enlarge them).
The reader indicated there may be some connection between the CGU vandalism and a proposal by CGU to purchase part of the Bernard Field Station land currently owned by Harvey Mudd College (the Claremont Courier had an October 29th article about that).
The reader's email also explains the backstory and tells us that at least some of the perps were apprehended:
DATE: Friday, November 21, 2008 4:40 PM
I have a scoop for you that might actually get people off of yelling about pilgrims for a while. On Wednesday night, a group of students from Pitzer vandalized an abandoned dorm at CGU.
It's actually pretty sad...the international students who used to live in the dorm were forced out and left a lot of their things behind. If you go through the dorms now, it looks like a scene out of Hurricane Katrina - almost fully stocked kitchens, clothing, books left behind, cards, decorations (mostly for Chinese New Year, things from their home countries)...you almost have to see it to believe it. The electricity is still on, the doors and windows have been broken...its a dangerous and sad situation.
CGU donated the appliances and air conditioners to third world countries and this kind gesture actually left the dorms vulnerable. Vandals accessed the apartments through the holes left from window air conditioners.
I asked a security guard why there doesn't seem to be any security on the building, or why it isn't at least fenced off and condemned until they can bulldoze it. He said there's some kind of argument between the city, CGU, and a professor at Scripps.
Some of the vandals were caught, which is how we know they were Pitzer students. It seems to be vaguely connected to their anger about the field station and CGU's involvement in paving it. They do have a right to be angry about this, but destruction and vandalism aren't effective ways to get the administration to hear your concerns.
Meanwhile, the dorm is becoming an increasing eye sore and safety hazard. I'll send you the pics.
A friend of mine noted the irony in the fact that these students who were fighting the imperialist system (according to their graffiti) were drinking expensive imported beers (which the left behind...doesn't seem very eco-friendly to me).
No, not so friendly, either. Our reader was bothered enough by all of this to send along even more:
Overkill, I know, but the slogans are kinda amazing. And by amazing, I mean sad and ridiculous.