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The Scarlet & Black

Stats lab vandalized

By Yanling Xu

Two computers were damaged in the Statistics Lab of the Noyce Science Center last Thursday. A fruit smoothie was poured over one computer’s keyboard and a plastic fork was placed in the fan of another computer.

The damages were reported to Information Technology Service and they have replaced the keyboard.

A few years ago, the Department of Mathematics and Statistics made the decision to keep the labs unlocked.

“They used to keep the labs locked after five o’clock and then they decided to leave it unlocked so that students can have access,” said Doug Peterson, Technical Support Assistant.

Campus Safety and Security is still investigating the incident, but there is not much information regarding suspects.

“Whether it was an accident or whether it was purposeful, we don’t know. We are following upon it and trying to find out who did it,” said Stephen Briscoe, Director of Campus Safety and Security.

“[If] somebody has seen something and [has] information, we would like that information and to have a good conservation with that person,” Briscoe said.

The fork used to stop the computer fan could have caused far more damage.

Photograph by Connie Lee.

“It could … even start a fire possibly,” Peterson said.

The day after the vandalism was discovered, Shonda Kuiper, Chair of the Mathematics and Statistics Department, sent an email to all students who are taking certain Mathematics and Statistics classes saying that if this continued to happen, they would be forced to lock the labs every night.

“They have that right to lock the doors,” Briscoe said. “Even if they lock, the same things could happen.”

Peterson agreed. “There is a punch code,” he said. “Some students could still have access.”

Regardless of access, if students accidentally spill or damage equipment, they should report it so that it can be dealt with quickly to prevent further damage.

“Send an email to helpdesk and say ‘in this lab I spilled something on the keyboard and it might be broken,’” Peterson said. “Some people just make bad decisions sometimes. Everyone does.”

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