Vandalism on the rise as conscientiousness falls

Carvings on tables of Esch library, blue glass on walkway by Echo Circle, table trash in Bossard and trash on lawn.

Heather Ross, Staff Reporter

Trash tossed about on the lawns. A smashed beer bottle on the walk by the Echo Circle. New profanity carved in the second-floor library tables. Food, dishes and debris strewn across the tables and floors of Bossard Hall. The campus of Lakeland College is taking on an abused and disheveled look, thanks to the careless and selfish acts of a few students.

Every August, at the Opening Convocation, President Dan Eck charges Lakeland students to “Take care of yourself. Take care of each other. And Take care of this place.” This charge comes in recognition of several things:

1) “Taking care of this place” shows respect to ourselves and to one another.

2) Part of being an adult is taking care of your surroundings, treating them with respect.

3) How we leave this campus reflects on each of us as students, and our classes as a whole.

We students at Lakeland are the beneficiaries of the generosity of previous generations of Lakeland alums and friends of the college. Previous students took care of the buildings and furnishings, which saved money, and kept things looking nice. The donations of these people, not tuition dollars, and not government funds, paid for our buildings, grounds and furnishings.

Tuition pays for the experience of attending Lakeland – staffing and professors, Success Department events, and social happenings on campus, not for tables, chairs, computers, bathrooms and buildings, which are paid for with donations from people who care about Lakeland. Donors are people who, with their own hard-earned money gained by the effort of working, saving and frugality, chose to donate to Lakeland College – not for their benefit, but for ours.

This semester, students and staff have noticed a huge increase in the disrespectful treatment of this place. Some wonder at the reason behind the vandalism, and disregard of others. Why are students wrecking property that isn’t theirs?  Whether due to boredom, hatred of the school, or a feeling of entitlement, there is no valid reason for this behavior.

I wish I had a solution I could offer to this lack of respect, and destructive behavior on our beautiful campus. I wish I could appeal to the sensibilities of my fellow students. Others left this campus intact for us to use and enjoy. What type of legacy do we want to leave? Do we want the physical facilities of Lakeland to be better because we were here? Or do we want to continue the trend of leaving our destructive, selfish mark around campus? Let’s choose well.