Power outage leads to vandalism

Kristin Marthaler

Kristin Marthaler

Students filled the SDSU Campus Monday around 11 p.m. during a campus-wide power outage. Some campus property was damaged, and one arrest was made. The three-hour demonstration included “around 500 students interested in what was going on, and needed to use up their energy,” said Doug Wermedal, vice president of student affairs. He said resident assistants were told to keep students in their rooms or keep them out of the residence hall if they didn’t belong there. Resident assistants were also prepared for the power outage in previous meetings held for precautionary measures. The crowd should not be considered a mob or riot, “it was simply students who lost power, decided to go outside because of the nice weather, and moved around campus until the power came back on,” said Marysz Rames, vice president for student affairs.Mike Reger, executive vice president for administration, said, “UPD, Brookings Police Department and the Fire Department were called in for crowd control. They did not spray anyone with hoses, like those rumors that are being spread.”He added, “Ryan Brunner [and Mitch Fargen and Robert Fisher] stepped up and helped crowd control.”However, some incidences of damage were reported. “Half a dozen light poles were knocked down around campus along with a shed, which led to a gas leak that was cleaned up by the Brookings Police,” said Pete Bolzer, the Brookings Fire Department chief. Tim Tompkins of the Brookings Police Department said he was, “at the end of the day, disappointed in the core individuals who went and randomly damaged campus property.”He added that regardless of which students did it, “at the end of the day it reflects badly on the SDSU campus as a whole.”Brunner said he was glad the crowd “stayed civil.” He immersed himself into the group, trying to tell students not to start small fires and vandalize.”There were a few bad people” within the large crowd last night, he said.”Milling around, precipitating factors, underlying tension and collective behavior is what started the entire crowd,” said Patricia Joffer, associate professor of sociology.Those who participated in vandalism will be prosecuted, according to officials. Vandalism witnesses should report incidences to Tomkins at 697-8357, or to Tim Heaton, University Police Department chief, at 688-5117.

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