Last Tuesday, DCGA met with Chief Dan Hect from the Office of Campus Safety. The bulk of Chief Hect’s talk focused on the current state of parking around campus as well as recent and chronic concerns about vandalism.
Hect cited the average vandalism charges at approximately $135,000 per year.
Most vandalism incidents on campus occur in residence halls such as Shorney Hall, Smith Hall or Crawford Hall as well as the senior apartments.
While the majority of damages take place in these spaces, there are other instances of vandalism occurring across campus in the form of graffiti, property destruction and theft. Chief Hect informed the DCGA that he, alongside Campus Safety, would be leading an intensive investigation into many open cases of reported vandalism throughout the year.
Hect’s meeting with the DCGA comes promptly after the circulation of an article around campus concerning mold in the senior apartments.
The article, written by Bullsheet managing editor Aidan Cronin ‘17, details a serious case of mold in a senior apartment bathroom.
Cronin writes, “Do not get the wrong impression; the residents of this apartment are in no way responsible for these [mushrooms]. The room is otherwise clean. Housing has acknowledged the issue and plan on fixing the it, but perhaps the issue should have been resolved before, as there have been many warning signs…”
Cronin makes a fair observation, however he is not the first person to recognize the poor condition of many of the residence halls on campus.
Socially designated as party-zones, spaces such as the Sunnies apartments have garnered a reputation for their declining status in recent years, however very few people seem to consider the amount of damage that is done by those who actually live there.
“This is an issue that we all, as a community, have a responsibility for,” says Ben Daleiden, assistant director of residential education.
“Vandalism impacts everybody- those who live around it, pay for it, clean it up and repair it.
As administrators, it is our jobs to help students feel more at home and this includes investigating cases of serious vandalism, but as a community I feel that we have to realize that each of us has a stake in maintaining our home.”
“You know, when I first came from USC to Denison, I was just astonished at how much more damage was done here than at my old job,” said Hect during his address to the DCGA, “Vandalism costs are significantly higher here.” For a school of close to 19,000 undergraduate students, this comparison should be quite astonishing indeed.
People know John Faraci is a great leader. He served as the CEO of International Paper Company, and is now the chairman of Denison’s board of trustees. What a lot of people do not know is he played tennis at Denison, was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, and majored in Economics and History before graduating in 1972. Now as the chairman of the Denison Board of Trustees, Faraci believes Denison will continue to improve, especially with the new majors entering the curriculum.
“I’m really excited about the global commerce and financial economics majors because of my experience in the business world,” Faraci said. “It will give Denison students a little more insight what they’re going to see in their first job if they want to go into commerce.” The ultimate goal is to move Denison into the top 30 liberal arts schools in the nation.
“What’s important right now is implementing a strategic plan. Whether it’s new majors or the arts investment, it’s a shared vision of the board,” Faraci said. The Board of Trustees is a group of individuals who offer oversight to the campus. Their primary job is to appoint the president, but aside from that responsibility, they meet three times a year to suggest the priorities of the campus. Most of the work is done through committees such as the finance committee, enrollment, student affairs, and campus and grounds. Each committee has a chair, and the board meetings serve to report what they have discussed since the last meeting. Faraci is on the enrollment, finance, and trustee affairs committees.
According to student trustee Cece McGee ‘16, this past trustee meeting was focused on continuing with institutional advancement as well as how the board can continue to promote student well-being and positive social inclusion.
“Our job as trustees is to help the university be successful,” Faraci said. “It’s all volunteer, but we’re all 100% interested in what we do. I love doing it.” Faraci believes immersing himself in the culture of Denison is the only way to truly understand it.
“It’s important for Trustees to be relevant and effective, so they need to understand Denison today, not Denison when they went here,” Faraci said. “I want to see what’s going on. When I come here I try to spend time doing things like going to volleyball games, sitting in on classes and talking with faculty members about the new majors.”
Another way for the Trustees to be relevant and effective is by appointing student trustees every other year. Calandra McGee ‘16 and Conrad Wourinen currently serve as the two student trustees. After finishing up her first year, McGee commented on her experience. “As one of the recent student trustees, my first year on the board was attempting to learn and observe a part of Denison that isn’t always visible to the Denison student body. It was amazing watching this group of Denison alumni work together to give back to an institution that has been fundamental in shaping the success that they have cultivated since graduating.”
As far as the benefits of a Denison education, Faraci acknowledges it may not be a technical, isolated skill.
“I don’t think education at Denison doesn’t prepare you for your first job,” Faraci said. “It prepares you for the job after your first job. A liberal arts education prepares you to do not something, but anything.”