Officials investigate vandalism, battery

by Bridget M. Rohrer
Staff Writer

Vandalism and other crimes have been on the rise this semester at the University of La Verne. Much of it is being blamed on alcohol use by students and lack of pride.

Last Thursday, Raffi Zinzalian, ULV graphics manager, requested that a youth skateboarding at the entrance of the AAIC building stop doing so. According to Zinzalian, the youth refused and came within inches of his face, speaking obscenities. Zinzalian pushed him back not wanting him so close, and the child and his mother filed charges with the La Verne Police Department.

The incident was filed as a battery because Zinzalian, who felt threatened at the time, pushed the skate boarder away from his face.

“He kept skateboarding past me as if he were going to hit me,” said Zinzalian. “The sidewalk is city property, but the stairs are ULV property. I just wanted him to leave. I didn’t mean to create a problem. I wasn’t sure what he might do to me.”

“The case has been turned over to the District Attorney and he will decide if it should go to court,” said Officer Darryl Seube of the La Verne Police Department. “As the minor made the report, his story changed from being punched by Raffi to being pushed. I don’t think it will go to court.”

Aside from the battery at the entrance of the AAIC building, vandalism has been on the rise. Several incidents have occurred in the residence halls. The most recent was the vandalism that occurred last Saturday night at the Oaks residence halls.

“I was called at 5:30 in the morning to see the destruction,” said Engy Albasel, Oaks resident assistant for A-top.

According to Albasel, there were ripped posters on one floor, spilled juice on another, the exterior ashtray had been thrown from C-top, a ping pong table had been broken and other furniture had been flipped upside down.

There were no witnesses to identify who created the mess, but a report was filed with University security.

“We have a lot of vandalism in the Oaks,” said Helena Gerstenberg, housing and residential life director.

Gerstenberg also believes that much of it is due to alcohol use and abuse.

“Problems with alcohol are consistent throughout the Oaks,” said Cheri Martinson, Oaks area coordinator. “I’m not sure if they are at an extreme, but it is not consistent with a dry campus.”

Martinson says she does not understand how or why the residents let the destruction happen. She believes that most residents are conscientious and do care about the environment in which they live.

“It’s not always the students who live on campus that are destroying things. Often times, it is the guests,” said Gerstenberg.

As students are held accountable for their actions or their guests, Martinson hopes that the vandalism will subside.

“I’m going to do whatever I can to hold the right students responsible,” said Martinson.

Gerstenberg and Martinson are in the stage of deciding how much to do and what to do about ending the vandalism within the residence halls.

“The vandalism can not continue,” says Martinson. “Students pay a lot of money to live in the Oaks.”

Gerstenberg and Martinson hope that something will encourage the students to take pride in where they reside.

Bridget M. Rohrer, Editorial Assistant
Bridget M. Rohrer

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Letter to the Editor

My son Nicholas Ceballos was a Chino Valley student from kindergarten until his high school graduation in 2017. Prior to this incident, he had a clean criminal record, no disciplinary issues, and great social and family interaction.