Hertford College JCR has been vandalised for a second time last Friday night. The perpetrators have not been identified.
The walls of the common room were written on and a hand drying unit was removed from the wall of a ground floor bathroom. It is believed this is connected to an earlier incident earlier in the term when a coffee machine was broken.
Jonny Ward, Hertford’s Food and Housing Officer, emailed the JCR the day after the incident took place. The email said, “as some of you may be aware, various incidents occurred last night, resulting in damage to College (and, by extension, OUR property).
“Some people have already came forward to testify to certain events, and we have a reasonably good idea of who caused some of the damage, but more information would be very welcome in order to help us resolve the issue and prevent these things happening again in the future.”
The email also alleges that an “indecent picture” was left on a fresher’s window.
Ward has urged students who may know details to come forward and tell either him or James Weinberg, the JCR President at Hertford.
He said in a later email, “the JCR was left a state on Friday night, which required a clean-up. As you all know, we’re searching for as much info as possible as to who did what that night, and we appreciate whatever you could tell us.”
The damage occurred after initiations to several major college societies that evening. It is unclear whether the damage done to the JCR is linked to these events.
This is not the first incident of its kind this term in Oxford. Cherwell reported two weeks ago that furniture was stolen from Christ Church JCR during recent refurbishments. A copy of FIFA ’12 was also stolen from New College JCR last week.
However, the Hertford JCR ransacking seems to be the most egregious of the recent JCR criminal acts.
Jessie Ravenscroft, a second year engineering student at the college, commented “I think it shows shocking disrespect for our college and JCR.
“Whoever did it should have taken responsibility for the damage they caused and cleaned it up, instead of leaving it to kindly members of the JCR.”
Ward’s second contact with the JCR, in Hertford’s weekly JCR bulletin, detailed issues with the clean-up operation.
He said, “If people are gonna be nice enough to clean it up, you can’t just take advantage and swan in there and dump everything all over the tables and kitchen immediately.
“It looked like a bomb had dropped last night, and if college were to come in, after the other night, they’d have no qualms locking it. They’ve locked it for up to 2 weeks in the past.”
Although President James Weinberg declined to give a comment, he did confirm that he was the individual dealing with college on the matter and that there will be no stricter rules imposed upon students such as closing the JCR at night time.
Although the identity of the vandals has not been formally confirmed, Ward admitted in his email “we have a reasonably good idea of who caused some of the damage, but more information would be very welcome in order to help us resolve the issue and prevent these things happening again in the future.”