Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Vandalism Discovered in Multiple Locations Around St Mary’s Hall

The Georgetown University Police Department arrested a person not affiliated with Georgetown University on Feb. 15 after he vandalized areas in St. Mary’s Hall.

The vandal left messages and tagged his Instagram handle in several classrooms and hallways, broke a vending machine and discharged a fire extinguisher, a university spokesperson wrote in an email to The Hoya. The messages have since been removed from the building.

The suspect confessed to damaging the building upon his arrest, according to the university spokesperson.

KIKI SCHMALFUSS/THE HOYA | The Georgetown University Police Department arrested an individual Feb. 15 after vandalism was discovered in hallways and multiple classrooms in St. Mary’s Hall.

“He was apprehended by the Georgetown University Police Department when they responded to a noise complaint in the building,” the spokesperson wrote. “He was arrested for destruction of property after admitting to causing the damage.”

The vandal wrote his Instagram and Snapchat account names and messages including, “Fuck the police I come strei from the undergraun ha ha ha ha they mad cuz I am lit Brown” on classroom doors and whiteboards in marker. 

St. Mary’s houses the School of Nursing & Health Studies and academic departments, including Georgetown College’s departments of mathematics and computer science. 

Matthew Carvalho (NHS ’23) saw the effects of the vandalism when giving his mother a tour of the school Feb. 16. When he noticed the inappropriate messages scrawled on the doors, Carvalho took photographs for evidence and tried to explain the situation to his mother, he said.

“At first I thought it was for an activity or something like that, but I looked closer and saw that it was someone’s Instagram account, and I realized it can’t possibly be for an activity,” Carvalho said in an interview with The Hoya. “There was derogatory language and swear words. I told my mom it was a school activity because I didn’t want her thinking my school was being vandalized when we pay all this tuition.”

The university has not announced plans to alter security measures in the building. However, the incident has raised concerns about safety in St. Mary’s, according to Carvalho.

“It was really disheartening to recognize how easy it is for strangers to get in there,” Carvalho said. “I know I have to swipe in order to get in and there is security, but I realized anyone can come in at any time.”

The university is still investigating how individual gained access to the building, as academic buildings including St. Mary’s are locked after hours and can only be entered by community members via a valid GoCard swipe, according to the spokesperson.

“We believe this individual was let into the building by someone with this swipe-access to the building, and we are investigating this,” the spokesperson wrote.

Although the vandalism offended Carvalho, it renewed his appreciation for the building, he said. 

“It gave me a newfound respect and made me realize how much I care about that space,” Carvalho said. ”I go there to study and work a lot, and the fact that someone would disbody it in that way was highly offensive to me, because it’s my school, it’s my place of learning, and no one should disturb that.”

This article has been updated to include a statement from a university spokesperson regarding security procedures in St. Mary’s Hall.

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