The EPCC campuses have seen a marked increase in vandalism.
Vandals shattered a window with a bottle at EPCC.
According to the Physical Plant Executive Director, Richard Lobato, there has been an increase in vandalism as of late at the various EPCC campuses.
These acts vary from campus to campus, leaving the staff at the physical plant a long list of things to repair.
According to Lobato, a hole was punched in a wall and windows were broken at the Rio Grande campus.
One of those windows was broken with a bottle.
At the Mission del Paso campus, a light sensor was smashed.
A restroom sign was broken at the Northwest campus.
“This is not just the faculty and staff’s campus. This is the students’ campus. It is my hope that they take as much pride in it as we do, and if they see people doing things of this nature, I would hope that they report it as soon as possible so we can hopefully catch these people and put a stop to it,” Lobato said.
The Valle Verde campus had a broken table in the gym, a bent tennis pole, and a toilet that had to be replaced after the previous one was destroyed.
“You’ve got to realize, while these things may seem innocent or even amusing to some, it’s costing money to repair these things. Money and time that my department could be putting into making things better all around the campus,” Lobato said.
A tennis court net was found damaged at the Valle Verde campus.
When asked how much it has cost the college officials said the figures were not available.
Vandalism is not only limited to destroying property, it also includes graffiti.
Graffiti is a problem that can be found everywhere throughout the different campuses.
It can be seen on walls, light poles in the parking lot and even in some stairwells, but there is one area of the school that is universally used as a place where some students feel the need to immortalize their thoughts and art.
“I have noticed vandalism on campus, specifically in the men’s restroom stalls,” said Jeremy Caro, a student taking classes at both, the Northwest and the Transmountain campus.
Although EPCC offers several courses in art and writing, some students prefer leave their masterpieces on the restroom stall and on the mirrors rather than a piece of paper or on a blank canvas.
“Personally, I feel that defacing school property is childish and unfortunately gives insight on the character of some of the students on campus,” Caro said.
A campus toilet that was destroyed by vandals, will have to be replaced.
Aside from causing the campuses to look less aesthetically pleasing, vandalism can leave students and staff feeling demoralized and can also lessen the sense of pride that students and staff may feel for their campus.
Vandalism is also costing the school money and time to repair the various damaged property throughout the campuses.
“I think the students, faculty and staff need to have pride in their campus. I know it’s [Valle Verde] an old campus, all of them are, but just because they’re old doesn’t mean we have to add to the problem,” Lobato said.
Lobato and his staff at the physical plant have been hard at work repairing the damaged property at the various EPCC campuses, but this is only a temporary solution to an ongoing problem.
“Students, faculty and staff, whoever sees these things. Stop it, report it, so we can get it taken care of and hopefully reduce the amount that’s going on,” Lobato said.
If people come across any vandalism at any of the EPCC campuses, call the physical plant at 831-7880.
If they witness someone committing an act of vandalism on campus, you should call the EPCC Police at 831-2200.
Students who are interested in using their artistic and writing talents in a productive manner, rather than using them on the restroom stalls, should visit a counselor or the EPCC catalog at http://www.epcc.edu/Catalog/Pages/default.aspx.