The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Staff report

Recent vandalism at Hege-Cox Hall (Lori Hendrickson)
Recent vandalism at Hege-Cox Hall (Lori Hendrickson)

Hege Cox has been the site of three incidents of vandalism this year. Most recently, faculty discovered spray paint tagging, destruction of a print and clay sculpture, and green paint thrown around the studios after Halloween night. Some of the vandalism is still on display as staff and faculty work to unmask the red spray paint both on- and in-building that reads, “love ya muffins.”

“In no one’s memory has there been this much destructiveness in a single year at Hege Cox,” reads the e-mail the art department faculty sent on Nov. 5 warning all students in art classes. Faculty had already discussed these problems with their classes earlier in the semester.

Though faculty sent the e-mail to art students, the letter acknowledges the anonymity of the acts and proposes the possibility that art students did not vandalize the building.

“We don’t know that is all art students since often friends of students hang around the building and think of the studios as a place to hang out,” said David Newton, assistant professor of art,

Newton hypothesizes that perhaps students “see messiness (in the studio) and don’t understand the limit,” and that this notion of mess contributes to the fact that students have targeted the art department.

“I think the new students get a little too happy and a little too drunk, plus they don’t know how special Hege Cox is,” said senior art major Jared Scroggins. “It’s such a small art department and writing on the buildings depreciates the little that we as artists have. I don’t think any artist would vandalize this place. I think it’s probably someone who’s a friend of a friend.”

Throughout the year, Scroggins, like many art students, has found his supplies misplaced or used. Others have discovered their projects ruined.

“Its not just about the tagging on the building,” said senior art minor Maria Kupper. “People are actually stealing things and messing up projects, which is the bigger issue affecting students. I came into class and found my still-life setup moved around.”

“Artwork is such a personal thing-its more than just your stuff-there’s a deep attachment to what your creating,” said Kupper. “To have people hurting that process feels like a direct attack on you and your passion on paper.”

To combat these issues, the department proposed a solution in their letter: to lock down and close the art building to students at midnight every night.

The growing Facebook group, “STOP the Hege Cox vandalism,” urges people to take this message seriously for the sake of art students.

“I know I was there late developing photos and painting last year, until 3 a.m. on many occasions, and people are definitely there late enough that if it closes late it would affect art students,” said junior art minor Mo Grumbly, who created the Facebook group to create awareness. “It is definitely a threat that we are not taking lightly.”

Because many students work in the studios during late night hours, they assume the responsibility of closing down their areas and cleaning up.

“At Hege Cox, we have always governed the building late at night,” said Scroggins. “We make sure the building stays together and things have going fine for years now. To see it fall to chaos this year is a little disappointing. I think the rest of the students need to look up to the art students who are not being destructive and are cooperative instead.

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