This semester some students had more than just school work and extracurriculars to stress about. Over the past few weeks there have been several reports of car vandalisms on Residential Boulevard, most of which were back windshields getting smashed into. Although many reports have been filed, all have yet to be solved.
Sophomore Gabrielle Case was the first victim. Her car was parked and found vandalized in a parking spot outside of House 4.
“I was in Target with my dad in New Jersey and my friend MaryKate called me and said, ‘Gab, did you see the Facebook post?’ and I was like, ‘No hold on’ and she was like, ‘Yeah that’s your car. I’m at the scene with public safety I’ll take care of it ‘til you get back,” Case said.
When Case arrived at the scene she could not believe that her car was destroyed.
“My car had a rock thrown in it, it was completely shattered. The whole back window was gone,” Case said. “It was literally the entire back window, like I could crawl through the window into my car. Someone literally came up to it and beat it with the rock and then threw the rock through the back window and hit the steering wheel and went in the front seat. Nothing was stolen. I had stuff scattered in the backseat and it was all left how it was.”
A couple of weeks following Case’s incident, another student’s car was vandalized in the same exact parking spot outside of House 4. Junior Emily Smull was walking to the cafeteria when one of her friends called and said that there was a rock through her back windshield.
“I came around the corner by House 5 and all you saw was glass shattered. As I got closer, there were two giant holes on the right side of my windshield and glass was falling through,” Smull said. “My car was actually unlocked and my purse was in the front seat and they didn’t touch it. My softball equipment was in the backseat and they didn’t touch it, so nothing was stolen.”
Junior Danielle Pasqua became the next victim when her car window was smashed in the Cabrini Apartment Complex side parking lot.
“It looked like somebody smashed my car window in with possibly their hands because there was blood all over the place, glass all in and around my car,” Pasqua said. “First thing I did was call public safety. The two male Public Safety officers who came and helped me were extremely helpful, I told them at first I didn’t want to file a police report but then eventually changed my mind and called public safety back.”
Sophomore Rebecca Tompkins had parked her car in the East parking lot overnight for work purposes and woke up the next morning to find it damaged.
“When I got to my car there was a Public Safety officer and three girls huddled around the car next to me because someone broke that car’s window. So, I happened to glance at my drivers side door and it was kicked in leaving a boot indent,” Tompkins said. “I filed a report with public safety and also the police.”
The fifth victim, Briana McGuire, was not able to be reached to discuss her incident.
Public Safety has responded to each of these five incidents on campus.
In a forum on Nov. 16 hosted by Joseph Fusco, director of Public Safety, and Stephen Nardy, assistant director of Public Safety, the issue of car vandalisms on campus was addressed. This forum was opened to the whole Cabrini community in hopes to answer any and all questions students had about this issue.
Public Safety is also working closely with Radnor Police on this. They are currently doing regular drive-throughs and spot checks on campus. Their presence on campus has been more prominent this semester. Unless the Radnor Police Department has reason or sees someone in the act, they are not stopping anybody on campus. For every car that was vandalized so far, a report to the Radnor PD was filed.
With Case’s situation, Public Safety officer Andrea Mack was the first one on the scene. Mack gave the option to Case to file a report with the Radnor PD. She stayed with Case and her family until Radnor Police showed up and she even helped clean out the car and surrounding area that was filled the glass.
“Mrs. Mack was great,” Case said. “She was really great and helpful with that.”
Since the day of the incident, Public Safety has not followed up with Case.
Pasqua filed a report with Public Safety but quickly became frustrated when she found out there was nothing that could be done.
“This wasn’t the first incident that happened which made me more frustrated because they said they were doing more patrols and rounds, but if they were actually doing their job they would’ve passed my car and clearly seen what happened, but I wasn’t notified.” Pasqua said.
Tompkins felt that Public Safety was no help with her situation and even though she filed a police report, her case was not that important.
When Smull got to the parking space where she left her car, Public Safety was already there.
“They were on the phone trying to find my number to call me when I had walked around the corner,” Smull said. “[Public Safety] asked me when I got there what I wanted to do and I said, ‘Call radnor police right away.’ So, Radnor Police got called and they wrote up an incident report [for] vandalization.”
Smull did not let the incident be forgotten with Public Safety. She met with Fusco, where she proceeded to ask what could be done about her car. Fusco responded with a statement saying they can not pay for the damage. Also, since there are no cameras outside of the houses, they said there is not much they can do unless someone is caught in the act.
This has raised a number of questions about lack of cameras and security around campus, especially on Residential Blvd.
Public Safety said there have already been discussions about this topic. So far they have met with three different companies for estimates about camera pricing along Residential Blvd. Dr. George Stroud, dean of students, had also asked Public Safety to increase their rounds and personnel on campus.
“There are more people who are walking throughout that area now looking and being alert, not just for the vandalism of the cars but just for being more alert of what is going on,” Stroud said. “Another thing that we are looking for now is the possibility of more cameras throughout campus. Most of the cameras we have right now are inside of buildings, really monitoring doors and the people entering and exiting buildings throughout campuses and some hallways and stairwells, which is great but now we may need to look at how we better monitor the outside parking lots and so on and so forth via cameras.”
So far, the addition of cameras to Residential Blvd. is only in the discussion phase and Public Safety confirmed in their forum that the cameras definitely will not happen overnight. This will continue to be discussed and priced.
“They are definitely working their hardest to try to get cameras on campus,” Kiley Sharp, a senior member of Cabrini’s Student Government Association, said. “They are also putting lights on all of their vehicles now, so whenever they do rounds at night, they are making their presence more known.”
Sharp is one of the members of the parking committee on the student government, which recently initiated a change in the parking setup along Residential Blvd. that began this fall.
“It [the car vandalisms] is nothing that has to do with parking, but we are still trying to take initiative and do something about it,” Sharp said. “I don’t think there is any way we could really know until someone confesses and says why they did it, but I don’t think there is any direct correlation between the two [parking changes and vandalism], it is just kind of a coincidence.”
The five students were already mad about their cars being destroyed but on top of that they also had to pay for all the repairs out of their pockets.
“I was just upset about having to pay for it as well, was my big issue,” Case said.
Though Case was not thrilled about paying, she was happy that her repairs took less than a day.
Pasqua felt that the school should help pay for the damage of her car.
“I had to pay $250 for a new driver’s side window, which was extremely frustrating considering it happened on Cabrini’s campus. They should be liable and I’m a broke college student,” Pasqua said.
In Tompkins’ case, she does not even have the money currently to fix the dent in her car.
“I do have to pay for [the damage] unless they catch the person,” Tompkins said. “I can’t get it fixed until I have the money. It’s so frustrating because now that it’s happened I’ve been really careful and I watch and look around my car when I go to it to see if it has been damaged anymore.”
Smull called a repair service right away to get her car fixed.
“[My car is] fine. I got it fixed. I called Safelight and they came the next Tuesday,” Smull said.
Smull did not leave the issue alone. She later emailed Stroud and Cabrini’s president, Dr. Donald Taylor, to set up a meeting to see if there is anything that could be done with her car, as well as preventing any future issues.
“I got an email from Dr. Taylor and he was very concerned. He apologized and stuff like that. I got an email back from Dr. Stroud later that week that asked me if i could come in and meet with him,” Smull said.
Stroud is working closely with the board and Public Safety to make sure these incidents are prevented and heightening the security around campus.
“There is no place for this,” Stroud said. “We are just as disgusted, just as upset as the people who were victimized by this. We are working to try to have it stopped.”