More than 50 percent of last semester’s vandalized exit signs were in Marycrest (cover photo). From University of Dayton
513 exit signs were vandalized during the fall 2019 semester, proving to be a recurrent problem across several residence halls on campus.
While the university has dealt with the unwarranted removal of exit signs for years, this past semester represented an unprecedented number of replacements for UD. With an average of about 27 vandalized exit signs a week across campus, thousands of dollars are spent a month on replacement and maintenance in the residence halls.
There have been Critical Incident Meetings held in the wake of these vandalisms, bringing residence staff and students together to discuss the severity of the damages as well as the failure to meet the University’s community standards.
These meetings communicate more than just punitive responses and possible fines, however. They address the accountability that Dayton students have to care for and maintain a clean and safe community. The accountability of the students is compromised when these incidents go unchecked and unresolved.
Last year, the second floor of Founders Hall was called to attend a Critical Incident Meeting in the wake of dozens of missing ceiling tiles and exit signs. The residential staff explained the fines and punishments the students stood to receive if the destructive behavior continued. This, along with heartfelt dialogue from the RAs, truly did make a difference across Founders 2 North. No more exit signs or ceiling tiles were lost for the remaining three months of school, following the meeting.
Founders Hall has not been the main issue this year, nor has it been Marianist, or VWK. Rather, Marycrest Hall has accounted for over fifty percent of all dorm vandalism across campus last semester. 300 plus exit signs and ceiling tiles have been destroyed throughout the hall in under four months.
Christina Smith, director of Housing and Residence Life, provided some of the numbers referenced throughout this article.
The exit signs are put in place for very specific and purposeful reasons, Smith said. They are put up in case of emergency, for any incident that might require the evacuation of students and guests out of said residence hall in a timely manner. If these exit signs are down, missing or broken, this might have life threatening implications in an instance of emergency.
Smith stressed the importance of being accountable as students at UD, and staying mindful and aware of each other’s best interests, whether it be in the classroom or in a place of residence.