A politics graduate student gained access to the Social Science Library early on Sunday morning and smashed through the toughened glass of an inner door.
The St Anthony’s student had been given 24 hour access to the library by his department.
The police were called at 1.15am and the man was arrested inside the library. University security services also attended the scene.
One source told Cherwell that the politics student used both a chair and a ‘book drop’ box to smash his way through the glass. He was found to have suffered cuts from the incident. The remainder of the toughened glass required a hammer to be cleared from the frame the next day.
The student was arrested for criminal damage but released on bail later on Sunday. He has claimed that he does not remember causing the damage but has offered the university an apology and says he will pay the cost of the replacement.
If the university accepts the student’s offer to pay for the damage and the money is paid, Thames Valley Police will not bring criminal charges. The glass in the door was bespoke and had been manufactured in Naples. A similar panel broken in the past cost £3,000 to replace, although the cost of repairing the damage may vary from this figure, depending on how the door is mended.
Louise Clarke, librarian at the SSL, told Cherwell that student disruption was kept to a minimum. The glass was cleared on Sunday morning. Although some of the first students visiting the library had to enter through a fire escape, the main entrance was soon made accessible. The door was made secure by 12.30, just half an hour after the stated opening hours on Sundays.
Oxford student Alistair Smout commented, ‘I basically live in the SSL these days, so I noticed the very next day. I didn’t realise it was an act of vandalism though! I know the SSL has its detractors but I don’t think that’s really on.’ He added, ‘Having said that, if I’d been stuck there with its artificial lights and 60s architecture for 24 hours it’s highly possible I’d end up wanting to break stuff too.’