Vandals strike Senators Lot

When JSC Junior Avery Bliss approached his car on the morning of Sept. 12 he noticed that the back side of his vehicle had several marks of poorly drafted graffiti on it.

“Somebody was spray painting cars in the Senator’s parking lot,” said Bliss, who discovered someone had painted what he said appeared to be a “poorly drawn” pair of breasts on his car.

Bliss was not alone, and about 11 others cars were also defaced.
Reported cases of vehicle vandalism involving a water-based paint of some kind occurred in Johnson State College’s Senators residential parking lot roughly around 4:30a.m. on Sept. 12.

JSC Director of Public Safety Michael Palagonia said the incident had been under investagion for six days.

On the afternoon of Sept. 17 Palagonia said the students responsible for the event turned themselves in and apologized for their actions.

“Approximately a dozen vehicles located in our Senator’s residential parking lot had graffiti on them,” said Palagonia. “From what it looked like there were some phrases that are not particularly nice painted on the cars.”

Palagonia noted that the Senators lot is the college’s largest residential lot located near the tennis courts, and the lot was approximately half full at the time the incident took place. “The individuals stated that the graffiti was not targeted at anyone in particular and was performed randomly,” said Palagonia.

As to who was involved, JSC Dean of Students Dave Bergh said he could not reveal their names, apparently referring to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). “We can’t release the names of the individuals, this incident is considered a part of their academic record here at JSC,” said Bergh. He also asserted that identifying the individuals would put them in difficult positions.

“We want to respect the safety and wellbeing of all the community members including these students who came forward,” he said.
JSC’s Public Safety office had been reviewing video from the time of the occurrence, along with the Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department.

“We knew that there were at least five people involved with the vandalism,” said Palagonia. “It’s a really unfortunate incident. Public Safety, along with the Sheriff’s Department had been taking the incident very seriously.”

Palagonia said that acts of vandalism like this are not acceptable, and no one is laughing about it.

According to Bergh, public safety brought the situation to a resolution pretty quickly.

“If this had been more of a prolonged investigation the Sheriff’s Department would have been more actively involved,” said Bergh.
Bliss noted that he has witnessed a lot of people who live in Senators Hall being “pretty pissed off” about the situation.
Along with Bliss, JSC Sophomore Jon Trembley was also affected by the incident.

“I couldn’t quite make out what it was that was on my car,” said Trembley. “All I know is that I wasn’t very pleased with the graffiti marks on it.”

Trembley noted that he was able to wash off the paint on his car with ease.

“People should find other ways to entertain themselves instead of screwing with other people’s property anonymously,” he said.
According to Palagonia this is not a common occurrence at JSC.

“We have had cars broken into and vandalized before. Nothing to this extent has occurred since I have been here, it seems as if it was just an immature senseless act,” he said.