West Campus residents were invited to participate in a door tag event in response to several incidents of vandalism within the apartment buildings. West Campus Area Coordinator Danielle Stine, MA, sent an email to all students living on West Campus about complaints of white boards in the hallways having messages erased or tampered with in the past few weeks.
The complaints filed were by students who had specifically written messages, such as “Black Lives Matter,” or other opinions on the boards outside their apartments. There were further incidents reported where students with “ethnic names,” as described in the email sent to all residents, had their door tags ripped down, destroyed or thrown out.
“We on West Campus will not stand for these actions,” Stine said. “I and my staff support our entire community that works to create and uphold a comfortable and healthy residential experience. We support and stand with our BIPOC residents.”
There have not yet been any students disciplined for these incidents. However, students were warned that their actions will not go unpunished if the incidents continue. In certain situations, depending on the circumstances of the vandalization, actions may also be considered a bias-related incident. In these cases, students may experience more serious consequences.
Resident advisers within the West Campus buildings have been trained to deal with any future incidents in a professional and unbiased way. Their responsibility in these matters is to report the full details to higher-ups and thoroughly explain the situation so appropriate measures may be taken.
“Be assured, students who are found vandalizing campus or resident property will be referred to the Dean of Students office and will be held responsible for their actions,” Stine said.
On Nov. 2, after several postponements due to poor weather, the door tag event was held in Jackson Hall. The event was open to all residents of West Campus. To further a sense of community and allow for students to express themselves or their opinions, students were provided with supplies to create a sign or poster displaying their names in their own personal style.
Some students chose to voice political opinions on their posters, while other residents opted for more lighthearted designs. The purpose of the event was to allow students to choose what they wanted to express with their door tags, and that was seen in the variety of tags made.
One of the Resident Advisers in Welsh Hall, David Cheng, described the event as an opportunity to see the creativity of Villanova students and the further a sense of community for all West Campus residents.
“With COVID making it so hard to build community connections, this event was also a way to see some new faces and form new friendships,” Cheng said. “For the residents who were the unfortunate victims of vandalism, this event was to emphasize that they are not alone, and the West Campus area staff stands in support with our BIPOC residents.”