While incidents with microwaves in David resulted in several warnings being given before they were removed, the elevator closure has happened very suddenly. Photo courtesy of Sower staff.
By Elisha Meyer
Effective Wednesday morning, the elevator located in Jonathan Hall was shut down due to several incidents of vandalism throughout the school year by an unknown person or persons.
The announcement was posted throughout Jonathan Hall Tuesday night in the form of an orange slip on the elevator doors and walls of the hall. By Wednesday morning, the elevator was completely shut down. Director of Student Development Rebekah Freed said closing down the elevator was necessary.
“We just need to figure out what’s going on and why people are disrespecting the property, and if we can figure out some of that, then we can kind of move forward with potentially reopening the elevator,” Freed said.
Further vandalism has occurred since the elevator closed; all of the orange signs have been ripped down as of Thursday morning.
The acts of vandalism have varied in type, but are affecting the condition of the elevator all the same. Writing is carved on some of the walls of the elevator. Trash is sometimes left on the elevator floor. One senior even commented that some students have complained about a urine-like smell emanating from the elevator floor.
All kinds of vandalism play into the Nebraska Elevator Code (ASME A17.1). The code is in place to make sure that all elevators are properly constructed, that they stay in safe and satisfactory condition, and that it is maintained for the purpose of its use. Freed said that the elevator was shut down in order to keep enforcing these regulations.
“In an effort to try and figure out what’s going on and why it keeps happening, we felt like we needed to close it for now, because people were not treating it appropriately,” Freed said.
The news creates nothing more than an inconvenience for most students. Senior Nicholle Harstad, upon finding out that the elevator was being closed off, was not overly affected by the news but was still disappointed.
“I am surprised by it,” Harstad said. “I knew the elevators weren’t great, but I didn’t realize they were being vandalized. I didn’t use them very often. However, it will definitely be a struggle when I have to, like, bring up laundry or groceries.”
Freed also said that the Student Life Office was working with students who are in need of the elevator to reach their upper-level rooms. Adjustments are being made for said students in order to meet their needs. Freed said this often means relocating the student to a more manageable floor or dorm for the time being.
“We’ve been working with some students who have specific needs related to that to accommodate for what they would need, whether that’s maybe an upcoming surgery or something,” Freed said. “None of our other dorms have elevators, so we deal with those kinds of accommodations that people need all the time. So, we’ll just treat it just like all our other buildings that don’t have an elevator.”
Any and all individuals who have valuable information related to the incidents are being asked to contact Freed or Vice President of Student Affairs Gene Brooks in the Student Life Office (SLO). Freed said that the sooner information is given, the sooner the elevator can be opened up.