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By Will Henderson and Rebekah Duntz

The Florida Tech community received news of a vandalism incident this week at the Evans Student Center on the northern end of campus.

Holes were punched in the drywall in the ping pong room, and recliner chairs were moved and broken. The building, which is in the residence quad, is an important piece of student life for underclassmen, containing a computer lab, ping pong table, conference rooms and a movie room.

SGA President Jessica Cushman was particularly upset, citing the “disrespect” shown by the vandals: “We want to make [Evans] better, we are planning on ordering new furniture, but we have to deal with the wall, that’s the priority now.”

The wall was fixed on Friday, just one day after Cushman sent a strongly worded email to the student body condemning the act, and trying to promote the Evans center as a positive space for students.

Facilities covered the cost of filling and painting the drywall, but in the future, incidents could incur sanctions on use of the Evans Student Center, including ID restricted access, or shortened hours, although Cushman considers it a worst case scenario.

In order to promote respect for the Student Center, Cushman and SGA plan on amplifying the positive environment for students by adding plants and possibly art. Cushman hopes this could discourage students from disrupting the operations of the student center further.

According to Director of Security Kevin Graham, there was only one camera in the vicinity, but officers weren’t able to identify the student. “We’re going to be putting cameras in there,” he said.

As of 2:37 p.m. on Jan. 22, Security has pulled all the names of who was in the center at the time with key card access and are limiting their investigation to a few students.

evans-student-center“It looks like someone was playing an aggressive game of ping pong, like lose or die kind of ping pong game,” said Graham, after his investigating officer spoke with several students.

Graham expressed concern about the center being open all night and day, and that Security will be putting secret, hidden cameras in the center because of this incident.

“It’s important that students take ownership of this place,” Graham mentioned. He said any further restrictions or consequences will be up to Dean Rodney Bowers or other members of administration.

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