Boys Bathroom in Library Closed for Offensive Graffiti

Male students looking to use the boys bathroom in the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library this weekend were out of luck due to vulgar graffiti found in a bathroom stall. As a result of the graffiti, the library temporarily required boys to sign in and out of the restroom while the issue was still being resolved, Jeffrey Marzluft, Acting Director of OWHL, said. Marzluft said that he initiated the policy because “there was a lot of hateful graffiti and we painted over it, but in two hours there was more graffiti. It seemed that students couldn’t be trusted.” The graffiti made vulgar references to the hockey and crew teams. Marzluft said that the library staff informed Public Safety and Paul Murphy, Dean of Students, of the incident. Murphy said, “The deans acted quickly to involve the coaches and student leaders of the crew and hockey teams.” He added that West Quad North Cluster Dean Chad Green met with the hockey team on Friday and West Quad South Cluster Dean and crew head coach Peter Washburn spoke with the crew team earlier that week. Celeste Dascoli, an OWHL Librarian, said, “I don’t think the vandalism was directed towards the library but it still has a very negative effect on the atmosphere. It is just one more disciplinary thing the library has to deal with. It’s just disrespectful and bad behavior.” “This wasn’t a prank, it was vandalism. Vandalism is a major violation in the Blue Book. Destruction and defacing of property is serious,” Marzluft said. He continued, “I think it occurred in our bathroom because our bathroom gets a lot of use. There’s one bathroom here in the building and a lot of different people come here.” Marzluft wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “Willful vandalism and open disrespect for Academy property, staff and fellow students have no place in the library or the Academy at large. Although these were the actions of a thoughtless few, their results infect the foundations of trust and honesty on which this community rests.” He continued, “I didn’t look at this as something directed towards the library. I don’t know why people would do it in the first place. I don’t understand why people carry sharpies around to write on the wall. It doesn’t make sense. I hope it doesn’t continue.” Maria Carteiro, the library custodian, was the first employee to notice the graffiti. Marzluft said, “What made me angry is that someone is going to clean this off.” He continued, “Maria, this nice old lady, is going to have to sit there and scrub penises off the wall because someone has to clean it off. Imagine your grandmother having to clean that up. It is ridiculous.” Kishan Patel ’11 disagreed with the library’s response to the graffiti. “Although I think that the vandalism is a serious matter, I feel that closing off the library bathroom was a little extreme; it doesn’t really help prevent vandalism on other parts of campus or in the library for that matter,” Patel said. Cliff Brannan ’11 said, “I feel like locking the bathroom really served no purpose. It is still possible for students to continue with the graffiti because the library staff isn’t monitoring the kids.”