Campus responds to crosswalk sign vandalism

Two crosswalk signs on Circle Drive were vandalized after their installation. Photo Courtesy of Chase Condrone.
Two crosswalk signs on Circle Drive were vandalized after their installation. Photo Courtesy of Chase Condrone.

The crosswalk signs installed on Circle Drive on Maryville College campus this fall were recently the subject of vandalism.

The signs, originally placed in four locations next to major crosswalks around the campus, were intended to make students aware of the presence of pedestrians, encourage the speed limits posted at the entrances to the campus and provide safety on Maryville College’s roadways. They were installed in response to complaints from students who felt that campus drivers put their peers’ safety at risk with reckless driving and a general disregard for pedestrians.

However, while on the campus this fall, the signs were defaced, run over or removed by students as an act of vandalism.

Director of safety and security, Jack Piepenbring, said that he feels this vandalism is not only unnecessary, but undermines the well-being of students here on campus. Piepenbring emphasized that the signs were installed for student safety.

According to Piepenbring, of the five signs that were initially purchased, two have been vandalized. This lead to the withdrawal of the remaining signs from campus.

The first, wrenched from the base plate on the first weekend after installation, was discovered in a student’s room this semester.

The second, which was located behind Copeland Hall, was run over. The student was later caught because of witness descriptions of the vehicle and reflective residue left on the car’s bumper.

Disciplinary actions are being taken in both cases. The students responsible for the defacing each must pay the $270 fee to replace the signs.

Despite this mistreatment, the original signs and the two new replacement signs will soon be returned to their allotted spots on campus. Piepenbring and the entirety of MC’s security staff strongly urge students to treat these signs with the respect they deserve, to charge their fellow students with the upkeep of this campus and to report misconduct wherever it may present itself.

Piepenbring said that all reports of vandalism and the like are completely confidential.

“In the future, if you see someone damaging these signs, do your part to protect your community,” Piepenbring said. “Step up and say something.”

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