Construction workers entered the Armstrong Student Center (ASC) Monday morning to find three images depicting male genitalia drawn on the inside walls of the unfinished building.
This is the second act of trespassing to occur within an academic building in the past six months, after burglars broke into Upham Hall in June, stealing $8,000 in artifacts.
Director of ASC Katie Wilson said she was informed of the incident later in the day Monday, and by that time, the construction workers had painted over the graffiti.
“The contractors still have ownership of the building and they work closely with Physical Facilities,” she said. “So they took care of it. And nothing was taken.”
No police report was filed with the Miami University Police Department (MUPD).
Wilson said she is unsure of who committed the vandalism and when it occurred, but she said the vandalism was not there before she left Saturday afternoon.
Wilson said her initial reaction to the vandalism was disappointment, questioning why someone would disrespect university property, especially one that is under construction.
“It was very disappointing to hear,” she said. “With the exception of the Shade Family Room, Armstrong is an active construction site, so it was also dangerous for whoever was in. It was not a safe place for non-construction people. So it was dangerous and disappointing.”
Wilson said a significant concern is now the security of the building. Since ASC is currently under ownership of the Physical Facilities department, its construction team and other designated university employees are the only entities allowed on site. To deter trespassers, the construction workers lock all the doors and windows of the building.
“We don’t know how the person got in,” Wilson said.
In response to the incident, Wilson said the construction workers were quick to update the building’s security.
“They put new cores on all of the locks on Monday, to make sure everything is secure,” she said. “And I saw a construction worker pulling on all the doors making sure no one could get in.”
Wilson said she encourages anyone who knows information about the vandalism to come forward.
“Even if MUPD doesn’t have a record of it, if someone found out who got in and when, there are still plenty of ways that the university can follow up with those individuals,” she said.